NC becomes focus of presidential campaign

Posted July 4, 2016

— North Carolina will take center stage in the presidential race Tuesday, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump making campaign stops in the state hours apart.

As an added bonus, President Barack Obama will make his first appearance at a Clinton campaign event.

"It sends the message that North Carolina is critical for both Democrats and Republicans in the general election," said David McLennan, a political science professor at Meredith College.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, and Obama will hit the state first with a 3 p.m. rally at the Charlotte Convention Center.

Obama is expected to reassure voters skeptical of Clinton's honesty with a personal narrative of how he came to depend on her as his secretary of state after running against her in 2008.

"It's his first official campaign trip, and it says a lot about how important North Carolina is in the scheme of this general election," said state Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake.

Obama carried North Carolina in 2008 and narrowly lost it four years later, and observers say the state's 15 electoral votes will be crucial in November.

The campaign stop comes three days after the FBI interviewed Clinton about her use of a private email server as secretary of state and with the specter of potential criminal charges in the background.

"I think that the challenge is going to be to cut through all the negative stuff that is going to be coming and show people what Hillary really stands for, why it is important in America to have a leader who understands the world, who understands how to make America lead in the world," Blue said.

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, gets to respond with a 7 p.m. rally at Memorial Auditorium in downtown Raleigh.

"He can steal some of the president’s and Secretary Clinton’s thunder by appearing in the same state on the same day," McLennan said. "It's an important state for him too. Republicans don’t tend to win the presidency without winning North Carolina."

North Carolina Republican Party spokeswoman Kami Mueller said Trump should be able to capitalize on Obama's appearance with Clinton by raising even more questions.

"Should someone whose own administration is investigating the next Democratic candidate be campaigning with her across the state?" Mueller said. "I think the average North Carolinian would say, 'No, that’s inappropriate.'"

McLennan said a tight presidential race in North Carolina will affect other races on the ballot this fall, including governor and U.S. Senate.

"It is going to be a sharp contrast between those who want to see the Obama administration’s policies continued and those who say, 'No, we need a change of the guard,'" he said.


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  • Shandy Scott Jul 6, 2016
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    Glad to see Obama out campaigning for Clinton. Maybe now Trump has a chance. When Obama was elected we had 28 Democratic Governors and 22 Republicans. After seven years of Obama's polices we now have 18 Democrats as Governor and 31 Republicans. There are two independents. Today Republican's govern MA, MD, ME, IL and NJ. Who would have ever thought. The Senate in 2009 was 59 Democrats and 41 Republicans. Today it is 44 Democrats and 54 Republicans with two Independents. The House in 2009 was 256 Democrats and 179 Republicans. Today, it is 188 Democrats and 246 Republicans. He has been detrimental in destroying the power of the Democratic party.

  • Pete Muller Jul 5, 2016
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    In terms of bankruptcies, Trump used those to gain financially leaving hundreds of subs in the dust. He is the prime example of what is wrong in this country.

  • Alex Wilson Jul 5, 2016
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    View quoted thread

    Trump lies almost every minute. Yet you trash Hillary for what you accept in Trump.

    Good business plan you have, let the country go bankrupt under Trump several times over. He gets richer and makes everyone of us poorer, you included.

  • Amy Whaley Jul 5, 2016
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    In the late 80's, I was taught by motivational speakers that the average millionaire has been bankrupt at least 7 times. Thus, if you haven't been bankrupt yet then you aren't set to be a millionaire.

    Furthermore, I would rather have Trump than "extremely careless," lying Hillary... according to FBI's Comey.

  • Alex Wilson Jul 5, 2016
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    Jeffrey, keep drinking that Trump Kool-Aid. He is nothing more then a sleazy con man that is out for himself. He has no interest in you or anyone else. He'll ride this scam as long as he can make money off of you and everyone.

    Just look at his business record for the last 30 years. Bankruptcy after bancrupty, lawsuits to scare people away, not paying vendors for their work. Taking vets money at Trump U, spending millions to shut down unions at his businesses, unions that would protect jobs and workers.

    Let's not forget his products made in China and other counties. If he is all that you say, why hasn't he moved his companies back to the US to help the economy and bring jobs back.

    Plus, where are his tax returns! Oh yeah, he doesn't want you to know that he pays no taxes at all and that he is not worth as much as he says.

  • Jeffrey Derry Jul 4, 2016
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    Trump for President...he is the one if you a concerned about the economy, jobs and national safety

  • Joseph Shepard Jul 4, 2016
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    After 25 years in political and public life, many people still do not know who, or what, Clinton is:
    She is possessed of a moral blindness that is not even aware of her lying. A pride that cannot admit that she is wrong on anything. A level of selfishness that can see nothing but her own will. An arrogance that neither knows, or admits, any fault. A callousness that has long since ceased to care of anything or anyone but herself. A psychological defiance that does not permit regret for her actions; a narcissistic mindset that always tries to make excuses and to blame others; a coldness of heart that refuses to admit a mistake even in the face of truth. And this is what people desire as their President.????