Holton: Wavering female voters should back Clinton

Leonard N. Fleming
The Detroit News

Wavering female voters should support Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton because she is prepared to lead the country in challenging times, the wife of Clinton’s vice presidential running mate said Tuesday.

In an interview, Virginia U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine’s wife Anne Holton said Clinton is a “person for others” and called her a “superstar candidate that people can absolutely trust to a terrific job leading this country, making the economy work for everyone, keeping us safe, bringing us together.”

Holton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson pushed voter registration and voting rights Tuesday in an effort to promote Democrat Hillary Clinton coming out of Monday’s debate with Republican Donald Trump.

Likely voters have said in polls they don’t trust Clinton. The issue became more pronounced in early July after Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said that the former secretary of state and her colleagues were “extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information” by using a personal, unclassified email server to conduct government business.

“Frankly, the trust issue is just hard for me to understand, really,” said Holton, when asked about the issue. “I think a lot of it has to do with, she’s just been subjected to relentless attacks for 30 years now. It creates a lot of noise.”

Holton, the juvenile court judge and daughter of a one-time Republican governor of Virginia, said Clinton wowed America during Monday night’s debate and showed critics she's ready for prime time.

“Tim’s talked to people on both sides of the aisle who worked with her in the Senate who say we know Hillary, we can work with her,” Holton said. “I’ve watched her whole career advocating on behalf of children and families. She's been such a constant on that.”

She made two phone calls to voters at the Clinton campaign office in Livonia following a speech encouraging workers to keep pushing until Election Day.

“Didn’t she do great?” Holton asked a voter she called by cell phone. “We’re so proud of her. I knew she’d hit it out of the park. We've got the right candidate.”

Holton said although she's been used to the spotlight as a youngster when her father was governor, the stage of running for the highest offices in the land is much bigger.

“I got over the notion of privacy a long time ago, I like to say,” she said with a laugh. “But this does take it to a different level.”

She said she is most proud of her husband “to get to be a strong man supporting a strong woman for once.”

Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr. speaks to a crowd at the Rosa Parks Transit Center in Detroit on National Voter Registration Day, Tuesday, September 27, 2016 as he campaigns for Hillary Clinton.

Earlier Tuesday, Holton said this election provides a clear choice on which candidate will protect these issues for voters, a point made evident in Monday night’s debate between Donald Trump and Clinton.

“We’re talking about some really significant choices here as a nation,” she said in Detroit. “There was one candidate who not only looks presidential, but is presidential and has a vision for our country that’s one of bringing us together and making the economy work well for everybody, not just those at the top, keeping us safe and strong around the world.”

Holton spoke of her father, former Virginia Gov. Linwood Holton, and how he as a Republican decried the changing landscape of politics and “how 12 percent of the electorate was deciding the outcome.”

Panelists Mary Ellen Gurewitz, the counsel for the Michigan Democratic Party, and former Detroit mayor and former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Dennis Archer, said Republicans have tried to do damage to primarily Democratic cities by challenging straight-ticket voting.

“If straight-party voting were eliminated, the lines would be longer,” Gurewitz said.

Archer said Republican legislatures and governors around the country are trying to “suppress the vote. Fortunately we have judges in federal and state courts who take their responsibility seriously about the law and they’ve declared a number of attempts, recently, not just in Michigan but in other states, unconstitutional.”

Trump has emphasized black voter outreach by visiting Detroit and Flint in the past month.

In early September, he attended a service at Greater Faith Ministries International church in Detroit and briefly toured the southwest Detroit neighborhood and home where adviser and famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson grew up. He also gave an interview to the Impact Network headed by Greater Faith’s Bishop Wayne T. Jackson.

Earlier in the day, Jackson, who led chants with bus commuters such as “jobs, health care, education and justice,” said he is concerned with protecting the right to vote, particularly for those in minority and urban cities like Detroit.

“In 2013, the Supreme Court ruled in support of voter ID. They wiped out thousands off the books,” he said. “They stopped early voting, they stopped Sunday voting. And the courts found patterns of race discrimination and voter restriction. And they ruled against it.

“Trump supports law and order. Hillary supports the order of more access to voting. That’s a big difference.”

Jackson said there are many reasons to vote, whether it would be pushing for better access to health care or demanding for more investment into cities like Detroit.

“She’s proposed a $100 billion plan for urban reconstruction. What does that mean to Detroit?” he said. “Detroit has 100,000 abandoned homes and abandoned lots. There’s a plan to put people back to work. And a very practical plan.”

Jackson attended Monday night’s debate in New York and said Republican businessman Donald Trump “was really not prepared for a serious debate.”

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