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Issue Date: August 2008


Hill's Angel


Lynne Thompson
We saw a lot of U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones during the presidential primary season. A co-chair of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign, the 11th District congresswoman was a frequent face on cable news networks as she made the rounds stumping for Clinton. In July, she publicly threw her support behind Sen. Barack Obama. With the Democratic National Convention set for this month, we talked to Tubbs Jones about the rigorous primary season.

Did you have any qualms about continuing to back Clinton after a majority of your constituents voted for Obama in the Ohio primary?
No. I believe part of my role, as a member of Congress, is to recommend to my district [whom] to support. I make those recommendations based upon what I know about the candidates and my experiences with them.

What’s your take on the debate about how Bill Clinton was used in the campaign?
The toughest thing for President Clinton, as the spouse of a presidential candidate, was [being the spouse of] a woman presidential candidate. So, the standard by which he was judged was different than that of any other spouse. I personally would want a spouse who would stand up for me, who would speak when he believed that I was wronged. The dilemma was that when he did that, because he was a former president, it put him in a totally different position.

Has it been difficult to accept Clinton’s loss and support Obama?

Your emotions and your support don’t turn on and off like a light switch. ... I was disappointed that people kept trying to press Hillary: “OK, you’re done!” ... She deserved, based on all the work she did in receiving 18 million votes, to spend some time with her supporters, to talk to them and then get on to the Obama campaign.

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