Clinton makes campaign stop at Ames winery

Virginia Zantow

Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., focused on health care, energy, education and the Iraq war during a keynote speech Saturday at a Story County Democrats fundraising event at Prairie Moon Winery and Vineyards, 3801 W. 190th St.

Clinton said she believed America needed to return to a place of respect among the nations of the world as a “goal-setting” nation, speaking to a crowd of approximately 1,000 people from an outdoor stage.

“We’re going to have a lot of repair work to do, aren’t we?” Clinton said to her listeners.

The senator was met with loud applause when she said she would work for universal health coverage that is affordable and of good quality, mentioning that she still “bore the scars” from her previous experience in trying to improve the health care system.

Energy independence was another important topic during Clinton’s speech, which she delivered without notes.

The crowd also reacted with cheers when the senator mentioned her desire to take taxpayer subsidies from oil companies and use them for research into alternative fuels.

Clinton’s comments about education ranged from “fixing” the current administration’s No Child Left Behind initiative – which she said “imposed an unfunded mandate on schools” – to making college more affordable.

The war in Iraq occupied the last minutes of Clinton’s speech, which she described as a sectarian conflict that is no longer America’s business.

“The American military has done its job, but the Iraqis have not done theirs,” Clinton said, firmly stating her desire that American troops “come home immediately.”

The senator received a standing ovation after speaking, and another after answering questions from the audience, which ranged in topics from global warming to abortion to AIDS.

James Hutter, associate professor of political science and adviser of the ISU Democrats, said this is a “truly unique time in the country,” as it is the first time that a woman is a front-runner in the presidential race.

Hutter said Clinton’s eight-year political experience, both in Congress and in Washington, D.C., distinguishes her from other candidates.

“She is a dynamic and interesting person that a lot of people find politically attractive,” Hutter said.

State Senator Herman Quirmbach, who is also an associate professor of economics at Iowa State, said the event had a great turnout and showed “what great enthusiasm the people of Story County have” for the Democratic Party.

“Senator Clinton did a superb job, and she showed a deep knowledge over a wide range of topics,” Quirmbach said.