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Political bigwigs campaign for CA candidates

October 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Some political heavy-hitters from out of state are making their way to California as we get closer to Election Day. They include former President Bill Clinton and former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin. We've already seen former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani drop by this week. But more rock stars of politics are making a swing through California.

Clinton started in the Southland Friday on the UCLA campus.

Clinton told more than 6,000 cheering students that voting for a new president is not enough if they won't let him govern.

"All we're asking for is two more years," Clinton said. "You gave eight years to the dig the hole. You at least ought to give us four years to get out of it."

He told the crowd they need to turn up at the polls for Democrats again on Nov. 2.

"If young people vote in the same percentage in the electorate as they did two years ago, all the good guys win," Clinton said.

Clinton, who will head to the Bay Area over the weekend, went on to stress Democrats' commitment to education -- and sounding much like a stump speech -- the former president promised the party would revolutionize the student loans program.

"Nobody will ever again in the United States drop out of college because of the debt burden," Clinton said.

Towards the end of his 25 minute address on campus, Clinton even talked up gubernatorial hopeful Jerry Brown, his former rival in the 1992 presidential primary.

"He was the first governor in America to have green building standards," Clintons aid. "He created a million and half jobs 30 years ago."

It was show of Democratic unity on the stage. Brown praised Clinton for his humanitarian work around the world since he left the presidency and encouraged voters to support Gavin Newsom for lieutenant governor.

"I want somebody pushing me toward the future, not pulling me back," Brown said.

Meanwhile, former Alaska Governor and Republican Vice-Presidential Nominee Sarah Palin addressed a crowd in Sacramento before heading to Orange County.

"Your next governor will have to make tough choices about spending cuts and certainly, she will be working in a bipartisan manner," said Palin.

"We're not going to reward extremist rhetoric anymore. Get to work on the stuff that matters. That's the message of the new generation," said former presidential candidate and former Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean.

And they're not done.

Senator John McCain heads to San Diego this weekend while President Barack Obama visits next week; his wife in late October.

For the first time in a long time, major seats in a blue-leaning state are competitive.

There's the tight governor's race, pitting Republican Meg Whitman against Brown.

And a new Rasmussen Report poll shows incumbent Democratic Barbara Boxer in a dead heat with GOP challenger Carly Fiorina in the U.S. Senate race.

"The passion and excitement is on the Republican side, plus this state's in play. That's huge for the GOP," said Eric Hogue, a conservative radio host.

"We're going to need as much help as we can from folks like Clinton and Obama to pull this thing out," said Roger Salazar, a Democratic strategist.

But you won't see either Whitman or Fiorina campaigning alongside Palin.

Palin is popular with Republican Party loyalists, but unappealing to independent voters. The candidates have to play in the middle.

"Carly and Meg are trying to get votes. And the votes they don't have right now is that middle ground," said Hogue.

"The Republicans are doing everything they can to run away from Sarah Palin," said Salazar. "I think it tells you sort of where our state is."


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