One way to cause pandemonium in a Hy-Vee supermarket in Des Moines is to send Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Magic Johnson there at the same time.
The trio entered, in size order, this morning and greeted a group of high school students in the market’s coffee shop, (Hillary said, “Hello!” Bill said, “Good Morning” and Magic said,“What’s up baby.”) Magic caused the biggest stir, literally overshadowing the politicians. The three signed t-shirts and envelopes and mini-basketballs with Sharpee pens.
Things got uncomfortable for Hillary when the group split up.
As Bill wandered off towards the deli counter he was asked about Hillary’s new more personal, emotional tack. “I do think having people who know her is a good thing,” he said. “I think it’s great.”
A scrum of reporters followed the former president. Many of the kids and grocery store employees hovered around Magic. Only Hillary was left with enough room to maneuver in all directions.
The former president didn’t discourage the attention. He answered questions about Joe Lieberman’s endorsement of John McCain. (“They are friends and they both agree that the most important thing that has happened in the last seven years is Iraq, and it is more important than Afghanistan and Osama bin Laden and 9/11 and more important than getting the leadership of al Qaeda. I disagree.”) And he talked to an Entertainment Tonight reporter about what he does during his down time with Hillary. (“We’re always laughing about something.”)
Hillary’s handlers were not at all pleased with the former president for monopolizing the press.
“Jay!” Huma Abedin, Hillary’s body person yelled at Jay Carson, presently Hillary’s traveling press secretary but the former president’s longtime spokesman. “These kids have to go to school and you guys are doing this? Are you kidding me?”
Carson broke up the impromptu press conference moments later, and the reporters moved back to a blue rope, where Hillary said how excited she was to have Magic Johnson out campaigning with her. The first question went to Johnson, about whether he would run for mayor in Los Angeles.
“The citizens have asked me,” he said, but he wasn’t interested.
When asked why he was supporting Hillary instead of Barack Obama, he answered, “30 years’ experience right here,” he said. “This is not going to be an easy job.”
Hillary was then asked about what seemed to be her renewed vigor on the stump.
“You mean I got my groove back,” Hillary said. “I feel great. I feel great. You know, I love campaigning.”
“You know, I occasionally read what you write,” she said adding, “I know that people have been saying, you know, we got to know more about her, we want to know more about her personally. And I totally get that. It’s a little hard It’s a little hard for me. It’s not easy for me to talk about myself. I’d rather talk about Magic.”
About the testimonials her campaign is rolling out about her good deeds, she said, “Maybe that will give a little bit of insight that will round out who I am as a person.”
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