Former president’s visit not enough to secure state primary win

Former president’s visit not enough to secure state primary win

Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt and her mother-in-law, Edith Hunt, speak with former President Bill Clinton during his visit to the Woonsocket Senior Center Monday. Clinton’s visit was one of two Rhode Island stops aimed at garnering votes for his wife, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. (Breeze photo by Sandy Seoane)
Bill Clinton makes surprise stop 
at Woonsocket Senior Center

WOONSOCKET – His arrival was met with enthusiasm, as glowing faces expressed gratitude for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of meeting a former head of state.

But former President Bill Clinton’s visit to the Woonsocket Senior Center – one of two Rhode Island stops on Monday aimed at garnering votes for his wife – proved not enough to secure a primary win in the state for Hillary Clinton.

Results locally for the presidential hopeful roughly mirrored statewide results, with Bernie Sanders edging out former Secretary of State Clinton with 53 percent of the vote to her 42 percent.

Still, Clinton remains the Democratic front runner in the 2016 campaign, winning the four other northeastern states that held a primary on Tuesday, April 26: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut and Delaware.

And the appearance of her husband, a well respected former leader in the small Social Street dining hall, was a rare treat for the center’s guests.

“The pot roast always draws a big crowd,” joked Congressman David Cicilline as local officials and security gathered around a podium, and camera crews waited in a designated press area at the surprise visit.

Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt thanked the former leader for choosing the city.

“It’s a great day in Woonsocket, obviously,” Baldelli-Hunt said. “There’s 39 cities and towns in the state, but I think President Clinton has recognized the great progress the city has made over the last several years with help from our federal delegation and our local delegation, and he felt it was important to come and visit you today.”

Clinton, who also made a stop in Providence Monday, said that recently, he’s noticed an increase in female mayors.

“Hillary says – no offense to men here, including your delegation, – that women were born with an extra responsibility gene and they’re actually interested in getting things done, so they’re well suited to be mayors. I think they’re well suited to be president too,” Clinton said.

Cicilline noted that the stakes in the Rhode Island primary were high for “making sure we do something to combat the escalating price of prescription drugs, and that we make college debt-free.”

“Secretary Clinton not only has a very specific plan for how to get it done, but she has the experience and the record for proving she can actually get hard things done,” Cicilline said. “She’s a fighter. She has been an incredible champion and fought for things that matter to people her whole life.”

The candidate’s husband, who led the country from 1993-2001, noted that the country is still trying to recover from the 2008 financial crash.

“We have to have someone who can go in, and make sure nothing gets in the way of the economic recovery we’re going to have,” Clinton said. “No state in the country has suffered more in the immediate aftermath of that financial crash than Rhode Island did. You’re still dealing with budget problems in the state that are a direct result of the economic crash.”

Still, Clinton noted, America is on course for a speedy recovery.

“No country in 400 years has recovered from the crash we had in 2008 in less than 10 years. We got our jobs back in seven years, but most people haven’t had a pay raise.”

Clinton noted that it takes more than good ideas to accomplish such progress.

“You can’t be reelected mayor of a community like Woonsocket with a good speech if she never did anything,” he said. “It’s a question of who’s actually got the best ideas and who can implement them.”

A smiling mayor accompanied Clinton as he greeted the group of seniors, a small crowd considering his stature.

“Whenever somebody endorses Hillary, they’re told they’re part of the political establishment,” he said. “That’s a pretty crowded group today. I like them both. I served with them both. But if you want to get something done for America, you better make Hillary the next president. She’s the best single change-maker I’ve ever known in my life.”

Voter turnout for the primary event was up in the city compared to past years. According preliminary results from the city’s Board of Canvassers more than 3,000 of the city’s 24,000 eligible voters cast a ballot on Tuesday, compared to 781 during the city’s last presidential primary in 2012.

Sanders received 1,674 of those votes, while Clinton garnered 1,322.


the Clinton crime family has lost some of its mojo. Thank GOD.

Clinton still gets 11 delegates from RI. Bernie got 13, which is way less than he needs. So still a Clinton victory

I heard that certain City Council people were not invited to this and not even informed about this, but from the photos, the mayors family and campaign contributors was there. Business as usual I guess.

Hey SHILLARY when are we seeing your speeches that worth MILLIONS huh! Get out of our state we dont want you. Maybe next time dress in PAAMAS if you want to appeal to the LAZY LIBBOS in this state.

TED CRUZ will lead the way and SAVE this country he has my vote i know he has the plan. PRAYING for our state and country!


It absolutely amazes me how liberal women can look up to this serial rapist. Goes to show how ignorant they really are.

Another example confirming the friends and family first policy!

Gqqsar2 at least they didn't support Dennis Hastert. Those crazy conservatives.

It was a disgusting display of wanton libidinous lust on the face of our corrupt 1 term mayor as she drooled like a rabid she-wolf for Slick Willy .....

I heard the pigeons in Cass Park were mad they didn't get an invite either...

Who's the last President that came to Woonsocket does anyone know?

was here for David Cicilline early in the President's term. I think it was 2010. He was at Highland Park.