The Indianapolis Star covered this event.
Sen. Hillary Clinton began the first Indiana sweep of her presidential campaign this morning with a visit to a crowded diner in the hometown of Sen. Evan Bayh, one of the state’s most popular political figures and someone frequently mentioned as a possible running mate.
Bayh introduced Clinton, saying it had been about 40 years since Indiana had had a meaningful presidential campaign.
"It's about time," he said.
Very true. Indiana has its primaries in May, well after the nominations of both parties are usually decided. But this time around, the Democratic party is pretty evenly divided over who the best candidate should be in November and the state is in play.
Bayh said he wanted Clinton's trip to start in Terre Haute both because this is where he grew up and because the city, like Indiana, has both challenges and blessings.
The challenges include a struggling economy. Terre Haute’s unemployment rate is 6 percent, well above state and national levels.
The spirit of Eugene V. Debs is still alive and well and has been a huge obstacle to the economic growth of Terre Haute, for years. I can remember a picket line at a drug store chain when I lived there in the 80s, because the company successfully thwarted an attempt to unionize store clerks. (Yes, you read this correctly, a drug store.)
Today, there is still a large sector of the population that believes jobs should just fall into their laps.
Clinton said she is optimistic the nation can make needed changes.
However, she added, "It won't be easy."
To her credit, she at least understands (and communicates that understanding) that change doesn't come magically.
I do not agree with the majority of her views on how to effect change, mainly because I do not believe that the majority of Americans believe her brand of change is what is indicated. The idea that government should meet more of our needs is not what made this country so successful, over the years. But, try telling this to the communities that think they have gotten a raw deal in the area of job losses, over the past two decades.
No company wants to move into an area that lost jobs, due to labor woes created by dealing with unreasonable unions.