Local News

Clinton Heats Up State Fairgrounds

Posted July 29, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The president returned to the White House Thursday night after a brief visit to North Carolina, facing a growing controversy over allegations that he had sexual encounters with a White House intern.

However, in North Carolina, Clinton focused on the business of raising money for fellow Democrat John Edwards.

From the time he stepped on a stage at the Fairgrounds, the president's mission was clear: to help Edwards and to leave his worries in Washington.

"I tell the vice president that 100 percent of the people in this crowd believe there is global warming now," Clinton said.

He may have been right. Everyone was hot, and one man even needed medical attention.

The sweating Democrats waited hours to see their president, but first they had to listen to other politicians, including the governor, the chief of staff and the candidate.

"I do not take contributions from PACs, and I do not take contributions from Washington lobbyist," Edwards said.

While others talked, President Clinton seemed to be thinking of other things, but when it was his time, it was vintage Bill Clinton.

"I feel like the guy who got up to the banquet and said 'Everything that needs to be said has already been said, but not everyone has said it yet.' So y'all sit tight."

The large crowd seemed to energize the troubled chief executive.

"The lowest welfare roles in 29 years, the first balanced budget in 29 years, the lowest inflation in 32 years, the highest home ownership in American history with the smallest amount of federal government in 35 years since John Kennedy was the president of the United States," Clinton said, crediting his presidency and Democrats.

This is the kind of night that Bill Clinton absolutely loves. A chance to talk with and shake hands with the party faithful. It was also a good night for John Edwards. The fundraising event brought in $400,000, and about half of that amount goes to Edward's campaign.