Five Democratic presidential candidates who spoke at the Heartland Presidential Forum Saturday in Des Moines could do little more than nod and listen as person after person – mostly out-of-state residents – shared emotional stories of perceived injustice.
And the audience of 3,600 did not hesitate to express emotion. As they listened to descriptions of loss of health insurance, the stench of a nearby factory farm, or a family split up by immigration officials, the crowd frequently yelled out: “That ain’t right!” and booed.
Hillary Clinton, a U.S. senator from New York, felt the glare of their displeasure after Billy Lawless, a Chicago immigrations rights organizer, asked her if she’d commit to giving undocumented workers a path to citizenship in her first 100 days as president.
Clinton, who spoke via telephone after weather prevented her flight to Iowa, said immigration reform is a top priority.
But Lawless pressed her, asking if she’d do it in the first 100 days.
Clinton said it’s up to Congress to pass such reform, but as president she would do as much as possible.
The crowd booed, apparently upset that she wouldn’t commit to a 100-days promise.
Chris Dodd, a U.S. senator from Connecticut, was the next candidate to get that question, and he quickly answered: “Absolutely, absolutely.”
I'm sorry folks, we try not to be negative here, but the whole audience at the Heartland Presidential Forum was filled with a bunch of clowns. First of all, immigration reform is not a top priority - Hillary was forced to say this to appease the booing animals. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that Hillary's main focus is on the biggest issue of our time: health care. She understands that a socialized health care system is the only fair answer, and to be stuck in the greed motivated free-market times of the 19th century would be absolutely insane. But these clowns want to focus on immigration reform? Hillary actually has a sensible plan for immigration reform - she knows it takes more than 100 days. She also knows it's not something she can do alone and needs the legislature on board. For these questioners to pretend they don't know this fact is illustrating intellectual dishonesty.
And for Chris Dodd to try to come in as the big hero and give the crowd a resounding "absolutely" was just sickening. This was clearly pandering to the audience, and ignoring the real obstacles that are in the way of enacting effective immigration reform. How dare you Chris Dodd for attempting to marginalize Hillary. She was being attacked from all sides, and you had the opportunity to take the high ground and defend her. All you did was add fuel to the fire, and you should be ashamed of yourself. When Hillary becomes president, don't expect any high ranking positions Dodd. When you attack Hillary during the election, you're only hurting yourself for the consequences you'll have to face after she's elected. I would be very careful if I were you.