In a special session at the YearlyKos convention, Hillary Clinton praised left-wing bloggers and promised she would provide universal internet access, full benefits for same-sex couples and pre-kindergarten that caters to children who don’t speak English if elected President.
She began by telling bloggers a secret: “Don’t tell anybody, but I actually read blogs.”
“Don’t share that,” she warned. “And, I find myself, you know, sometimes saying, ‘Oh, c’mon’ and sometimes saying ‘Oh, you know that’s a really good point’ and trying to figure out how to work that into an argument I am making or legislation I am drafting.”
Before appearing on the YearlyKos main stage for a presidential forum with other Democrats seeking the nomination for President, Clinton held a “breakout” session with “Kossack” bloggers of the DailyKos website. When convention participants registered for the conference, they were asked to pick which Democratic presidential candidate’s breakout session they would like to attend. Then, each attendee was given a colored bracelet that would only grant the participant access to the selected candidate’s session.
A YearlyKos organizer said that Barack Obama’s session reached maximum capacity first, then John Edwards and finally Clinton’s. The media was given unlimited access to each of the breakout sessions, but several of them overlapped each other.
The DailyKos community revolted when a scheduling conflict caused her campaign to cancel her breakout session the night before. She previously scheduled to speak to the National Association of Police Organizations Convention that morning.
Upon hearing the news of her cancellation, one diarist posted a blog titled, “Effing Hillary Jilts Kossacks!”
In the end, however, Clinton made time in her schedule to talk to the bloggers. In a 12 p.m. Saturday session at the McCormick Place Convention Center, Clinton lauded DailyKos.
“I only wish that we had this active and fighting a blogosphere about fifteen years ago,” she said. “I think about what if we had the blogosphere in ’93, ’94, when I was working on healthcare and, you know, being hammered.”
After thanking the DailyKos bloggers at length for standing “up against the right-wing noise machine,” Clinton took five questions from the audience. They were about: education, closing Guantanamo Bay, President Bush’s surveillance program, pieces of controversial legislation her husband President Bill Clinton signed, and mass transit.
Surprisingly, no one directly asked her about her 2002 vote to authorize the war in Iraq, the source of many liberals’ opposition to her candidacy.