Tag Archives: Hillary Clinton

Proving Without A Doubt That Donald Trump Is Proud To Have Support From The Uneducated

Seen cruising slowly up and down the Whole Foods parking lot recently:


(Photo/Jane Sherman)

Whether you’re with her or him — and whether you agree with or oppose everything this driver believes — you have to admit:

That last line is a classic.

Larry Aasen Buttons Up

In 1928, Larry Aasen’s father returned home to North Dakota from the national Democratic convention. He brought his young son an Al Smith pencil.

The souvenir is long gone. But Aasen — in his 90s, and a longtime Westporter who with his fellow politcally activist wife Martha has attended “many” national and state conventions — amassed over 2,000 other buttons, posters and assorted mementos.

Aasen mounted some in wooden frames. He donates others — worth at least $15 each to collectors — to local non-profits, to sell at silent auctions. They raise $100 to $150, he says.

Though Aasen is an avid Democrat — and his collection skews that way — his collection is non-partisan. His Republican memorabilia dates back to Wendell Willkie. He trades for some of them. Others come from his many GOP friends.

jfk-posterStarting tomorrow (Wednesday, September 21), his favorites will be on view at the Westport Library’s lower-level Riverwalk display case. They include a Woodrow Wilson button, and posters for FDR and JFK. The exhibit runs through (of course) Election Day.

An opening reception is set for Thursday, September 29 (6 p.m., McManus Room).

Aasen will be there. He’ll tell stories about his buttons — and his political life.

Like this one. In the 1950s, he was in Kansas City on business. He found out where Harry Truman often parked, to walk to his office. Sure enough, early in the morning, the former president drove through heavy snow, got out and prepared to walk.

There were no Secret Service agents around. Aasen asked if he could walk too.

Martha and Larry Aasen.

Martha and Larry Aasen.

They talked about politics, including Aasen’s native North Dakota and Martha’s Mississippi.

Somehow the discussion turned to the disputed presidential election of 1876. As Truman recounted how — 80 years earlier — Rutherford B. Hayes beat out Samuel Tilden, Aasen says, “he really got worked up.”

There’s no question who Aasen is voting for this Election Day. He’s met Hillary Clinton many times, he says, going back at least 20 years.

“People don’t realize how many times she’s been in Westport for fundraising,” Aasen says.

At the opening reception next week, maybe he’ll pair his “I’m With Her” button with one that says “We Want Willkie.”


Trump And Hillary: JP Vellotti Compares The Rallies

Alert “06880” reader/photographer JP Vellotti is an equal-opportunity political rally-goer.

On Saturday night, he attended the Donald Trump rally at Sacred Heart University. Afterward, he sent photos and a report to “06880.”

Here’s Part 2 of his journey to Election Day:

There was a lot to process after the Trump event. Having never been to a political function, I wondered if his rally was a normal state of affairs.

The next day I checked out Hillary’s website, to see if she had any events planned nearby (other than the $34,000-per-person dinner in Greenwich).

To my surprise, there was an event Monday in Scranton, Pennsylvania. I clicked the link, and got a ticket. I don’t have $34K, but I do have enough for a tank of gas.

At 5:30 a.m., I headed 150 miles west on I-84. It’s a nice drive. I was early, but that helped me get a great spot close to the stage.

The same type of vendors were there as at the Trump rally, selling pins, hats and t-shirts. They seem to be price-fixed, no matter which party (all overpriced and low quality). Bernie Sanders merchandise was marked way down.

Hillary pins - JP Vellotti

There were about the same number of protesters in the parking lot — all peaceful. I’m not quite sure what the people with the giant inflatable spliff were protesting (or supporting).

It was really interesting to see both sides. I don’t think a lot of people can say they did that, especially in a 48-hour span.

Part of the anti-Hillary protests.

Part of the anti-Hillary protests.

I’d be interested to hear what Hillary said at the $34K event, versus this free one in Scranton. I especially wonder how she can tell the people of Scranton certain things will be done with money that comes in from the wealthiest 1% paying their fair share of taxes.

I imagine some of that 1% paid to see her in Greenwich. Are they ok with her plan? Maybe she laid it out in greater detail during the dinner? I’ll never know.

Unlike the Trump event, there were no vulgar t-shirts or pins — or chants of the same, from the crowd or candidate.

The arena was much larger, but it was closed off to nearly the same size as the SHU Pitt Center. Both events were hot, but nothing beats the Trump rally heat.

Hillary’s event had a live, local coffee shop-type band. They played mellow songs like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” then funk like “Superstition” and “ABC.” They did not repeat anything.

The Trump rally blasted mostly the Rolling Stones (who asked him to stop using their songs) and Elton John’s “Funeral for a Friend” (an odd choice). His playlist repeated 3 times, and the crowd noticed. He also had an opera tune in the mix.

The crowds were almost equal in size — about 5,000. The demographics were again very similar — a bit younger in Scranton, predominantly white, but with more outward signs of diversity (buttons, pins, hats for various causes).

Hillary crowd - JP Vellotti

Much of the same speeches from both sides were snippets from the primaries. The Scranton one had a bit of hometown flavor, because of Hillary’s and Joe Biden’s roots there. Both told funny anecdotes.

Biden was a dynamic speaker. He made his speech feel personal, like your uncle was telling you something important. He also gave direct facts and statistics about consequences of things like dismantling NATO. He said he was off to Kosovo immediately after the rally, to assure them of America’s support.

Vice President Joe Biden.

I thought the talk in Scranton would be more about factory workers and old mills. Not at all. There was no relishing in the past for the American worker, which is the sense I got from Trump’s speech.

Hillary outlined her agenda at a high level. There was no badgering of the press, no name calling, and no Democratic version of “Lock her up!” She did wonder if Trump will ever release his tax returns.

Hillary speaking - JP Vellotti

Both Clinton and Biden came to the front row, and worked the crowd for a very long time. I was amazed at how close I could get. I believe Trump left as soon as he was finished, but I couldn’t see that side of the stage so I don’t know for sure.

Hillary after event

After the event, I walked over to Sonic to get something to eat. I met an 83-year-old Korean War vet named Daniel. He had been undecided, but will now vote for Hillary.

JP Vellotti's new friend, a Korean War veteran named Daniel.

JP Vellotti’s new friend, a Korean War veteran named Daniel.

I bought him lunch, thanked him for serving our country decades before I was born. And then it was back on I-80, to Westport. Without a limo.

Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden leave Scranton. (Photos/JP Vellotti)

Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden leave Scranton. (Photos/JP Vellotti)

Marc Lasry Is With Her

Marc Lasry — the billionaire hedge fund manager/Milwaukee Bucks co-owner — is a noted Hillary Clinton fan. Just 3 months ago, the prodigious fundraiser opened his Beachside Avenue home for an event featuring the Democratic presidential candidate’s husband, a guy named Bill.

Last night, Lasry talked up Clinton’s candidacy with PBS interviewer Charlie Rose.

Alert “06880” reader JP Vellotti watched his fellow Westporter with interest.

But one subject did not come up.

“I wonder what Lasry thinks of her line promising to make the ultra-rich pay their fair share of taxes,” Vellotti says.

Mark Lasry and Charlie Rose talk about Hillary Clinton. (Screenshot/JP Vellotti)

Mark Lasry and Charlie Rose talk about Hillary Clinton. (Screenshot/JP Vellotti)


Rock The Vote. Or Not.

Presidential elections are filled with passion and politics.

Presidential primaries, apparently, are not.

This was the scene a couple of hours ago outside the Westport Library, one of our town’s polling places:

Election Day 2016

Several things were noticeably lacking:

  • Candidate signs
  • Candidates (or at least their surrogates)
  • Bake sales
  • Uncertainty.

If pre-primary polling (and our very unscientific “06880” poll) hold up, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump should pad their delegate leads nicely, thanks to voters throughout the state — and in Westport.

Wherever they are.

Vote Now: 06880’s Wholly Unscientific But Very Interesting Poll

Tuesday is Connecticut presidential primary day. Our votes will not be as closely watched nationally as last week’s contest in New York (or even next Tuesday’s in Pennsylvania).

But they’re ours. And (unlike Florida) they do count.

ivotedstickerSince politics is such a fun game*, let’s really enjoy ourselves. Make your choice in the poll below. Let’s see how close — or far apart — “06880” readers are (p0litically speaking) from the rest of the state.

To make this as accurate as possible, please vote in our poll only if you are a registered Democrat or Republican in Connecticut — in other words, only those eligible to vote here on Tuesday. (Anyone can view the results, as often as you’d like.)

And of course, everyone is welcome to click on the “Comments” section below. It’s a free country — still.🙂


Bill Clinton Comes To Town

As president, Bill Clinton visited Westport 3 times — all for fundraisers.

He was back again last night. This time he raised cash on behalf of someone he hopes will be another President Clinton: his wife Hillary.

Attendees paid up to $2,700 for the event, at the Beachside Avenue home of hedge fund manager/Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry.

Press coverage was not allowed. Attendees said Clinton spent half an hour making a spirited case for his wife’s election, then chatted with guests for another half hour.

President Clinton with longtime Democratic activists Lee Greenberg and Martha Aasen.

President Clinton with longtime Democratic activists Lee Greenberg and Martha Aasen.

President Clinton and Senator Richard Blumenthal have been friends for many years.

President Clinton and Senator Richard Blumenthal have been friends for many years.

President Clinton with RTM member Kristan Peters-Hamlin. She is a descendant of Abraham Lincoln's first vice president, Hannibal Hamlin.

President Clinton with RTM member Kristan Peters-Hamlin. Her husband is related to Abraham Lincoln’s first vice president, Hannibal Hamlin.


Jack Goldenberg “Pins” His Hopes On Hillary

Jack Goldenberg says he’s been marketing Democratic memorabilia “since Al Gore was elected president.”

That tells you all you need to know about his political leanings — and what he does to support them.

He’s sold over 30 styles of Obama Watches (“guaranteed to be more accurate than George Bush”) for the past 8 years.

Now, as a new campaign season heats up, he’s turned his attention to Hillary Clinton.

Goldenberg — a former Westporter who as a copywriter and creative director marketed national crazes like Happy Meals, Cabbage Patch Kids and Pop Rocks — is promoting the Democratic candidate with a series of 20 pins.

A Hillary supporter with her pin.

A Hillary supporter with her pin.

The biggest seller is “Hillary Trumps Them All.” Sales jump every time the Republican front-runner makes a controversial comment. “No wonder sales are so good,” the pin-maker says.

Marketing comes naturally to Goldenberg. In 1972 — 2 years after the first Earth Day — he appointed himself Head of the Earth. He then launched International Earth Day (and earned the backing of the UN).

Besides those Happy Meals, Cabbage Patch and Hot Rocks campaigns, he was among the first to suggest instant scratch-off state lottery tickets. On the plus side, he helped 300 people get new homes and jobs after Hurricane Katrina.

But back to his political work.

Goldenberg’s Obama watches (one said “Love your mama, vote Obama”; another read”Barack around the clock”) were endorsed by George Bush, who lived in a white house. Well, not, the actual president, and not 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. But he had the same name. And his house was white.

This is the George Bush who supported Barack Obama -- and who likes Jack Goldenberg's watches.

This is the George Bush who supported Barack Obama — and who likes Jack Goldenberg’s watches.

Connecticut votes soon. It’s unknown whether Hillary will trump all (or even Bernie Sanders).

But if she does, you can pin a small part of it on Jack Goldenberg.


Very Cool House Hunters

Bill and Hillary Clinton are selling their house in Chappaqua.

And it’s 80 to 90% certain they’re moving to Westport.

A realtor — who for obvious reasons will remain nameless — said the former president told her they moved to New York state primarily so his wife could run for the Senate.

But several factors are behind the upcoming move.

For one, Fairfield County’s tax burden is significantly lower than Westchester’s. (“I’m amazed he told me that,” the realtor said.)

Future Westporters?

In addition, last summer Bill fell in love with sailing. He and Hillary lived in Milford while both attended Yale Law School, and he has called their rental cottage at the beach “one of the best places we ever lived.”

But why Westport and not, say, Rowayton or Greenwich?

“The Clintons have several friends in Westport, and always loved coming here,” the realtor said.

The Clintons' former home.

“And when we drove through town and I told him all about the development in Saugatuck, his eyes lit up. He said, ‘This might sound silly, but it’s kind of like when I put my office in Harlem. It was the right feeling at the right time.'”

The realtor said the Clintons have looked at property in Green’s Farms and Saugatuck Shores. Bill liked a house very close to Compo, but Hillary thought the area was too “public.”

The realtor said Bill is doing most of the research into Westport. (“I understand that,” she said. “Hillary’s got a full-time job.”)

The Clintons' current home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

The realtor was struck by the former president’s interest in local issues. “He’s got a very clever sense of humor,” she noted. “He said, ‘Maybe if I get back into politics, I’ll run for the planning board (P&Z). It looks like that’s where the action is.”

I had to ask: Did she tell Bill about “06880”?

Yes! she said. He loves it — including the comments.

In fact, he told her, “If we move here, I have to meet the Dude!”

(To see photos of 3 of the homes the Clintons are considering, click here.)