Smith County Scrambles To Prepare For Former President Bill Clinton's Tyler Visit - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/14/08- Smith County

Smith County Scrambles To Prepare For Former President Bill Clinton's Tyler Visit

Getting out the word for Bill Clinton's big arrival. With time winding down fast, the Smith County democratic party is in high pitch.

"It's a great opportunity to see not only a former president but get to know more about Senator Clinton's politics, her views, her campaign," said Steven M. Duquett with the Smith County Democratic Party.

With Senator Hillary Clinton's candidacy hinging on big wins in Ohio and Texas, supporters are hoping this visit will cool down Barack Obama's 8-win hot streak. But can the former president sway East Texas voters?

"Most of the democrats I talked to say they may not decide until they actually vote so he might, but it's going to be a close race across Texas," said Chair of the Smith County Democratic Party David Henderson.

"A lot of people are afraid of a dual candidacy," said Duquett.  "People don't like that but Bill Clinton, he's also very respected. We had a very great economy while he was president during those 8 years."

TJC said everyone is welcome to the free event at the Rogers Student Center.

"We're delighted to have a former president on our campus again," said Tyler Junior College Public Relations Officer Fred Peters.  "It's been since 1990 that we've had a president on our campus, so it's pretty exciting."

The former president is slated to speak there around 2:45 Friday, though that could slightly change, depending on his stops in Texarkana and Longview.

"Bill is very famous for being late cause he likes to stop and talk to everyone," said Duquett.  "He's very personable and very charismatic."

Still crowds are expected, so the college advises everyone to arrive early.  

Courtney Lane, Reporting  clane@kltv.com

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