OXFORD – Former President Bill Clinton will try to pump up potential voters today for fellow Democrat Travis Childers.
Childers, the U.S. representative from Booneville, is in a pitched political battle to retain the 1st District seat against Republican Alan Nunnelee of Tupelo and seven others on the Nov. 2 ballot.
Clinton is expected to appear about 11:30 a.m. in the Grove in the heart of the Oxford campus.
A Childers spokesman termed the event a “Get Out the Vote Rally.” Both men will speak at the rally, aimed at encouraging young voters to the polls for the general election.
It will be Clinton’s first trip to Northeast Mississippi since he appeared at a Tupelo rally for his wife’s presidential campaign in early 2008.
And his appearance today can be helpful to Childers, said Tim Sahd, House Race Hotline editor for the National Journal, who tracks U.S. House of Representative races nationwide.
“President Clinton has been a good get for Democrats in heavily Republican areas,” Sahd noted. “He’s basically the only national Democrat who can walk into these districts and not manage to rile up the Republican base as well.”
David Wasserman, House editor for The Cook Political Report in Washington, D.C., said Clinton’s appearance is no big surprise.
“Democrats wish they were running under Bill Clinton instead of Barack Obama,” he said. “But his appearance won’t necessarily win over too many conservative votes.”
Wasserman, who closely watched the race between Childers and Southaven Republican Greg Davis in 2008, said the Clinton visit likely is a strategy to “drive up Childers’ base without alienating other voters.”
The Childers-Nunnelee race is still a toss-up, he noted.
People who want to attend the event shouldn’t expect any extraordinary security around the Grove, said Dr. Andrew Mullins, chief of staff to Chancellor Dan Jones.
“Of course, you can expect more security when a former president is here,” but nothing to prevent anyone from easily accessing the rally site, he said.
However, campus parking is always very limited for the public.
Early best bets are parking lots by the Ford Center and the University Museum and on the campus fringe where Highway 6 and Old Taylor Road intersect.
Contact Patsy R. Brumfield at (662) 678-1596 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Today, 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.
• University of Mississippi
• The Grove Stage
• Free, open to public
What you should know:
• Security – Nothing out of the ordinary
• Parking – Campus parking is very limited. Best early bets: Lots by Ford Center, University Museum and Hwy 6 at Old Taylor Road.
• Seating – Limited in the Grove. Bring your own seat, if you need one.
Patsy R. Brumfield/NEMS Daily Journal