LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Campaigning for his wife yesterday, former President Bill Clinton threatened to remain in the state of Virginia indefinitely if its voters did not choose Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's Democratic presidential primary.
"OK, now here's the deal. If ya'll don't vote for Hillary, I ain't leavin'," the former president said as he loudly downed a pulled pork barbeque sandwich, hush puppies, slaw and a jumbo iced tea in under 45 seconds.
"I'm not kidding," he said. "I love this place; I can stay here a long, long time. LOTS to do here. Golf. Fish. Sit beside your wives at church. Buddy, I would LOVE it. I live in New York now, man, you know how long it's been since I hung my underwear out on the clothesline to dry? Oh, yeah, I hang 'em high, too, so the whole neighborhood can get a good look."
Clinton made his comments the day after Sen. Barack Obama swept Sen. Hillary Clinton in primaries in Louisiana, Nebraska, Washington, and the Virgin Islands. Sen. Clinton replaced her campaign manager after the losses, which came shortly after she loaned her campaign $5 million when it became clear that she had been unable to raise as much money as Sen. Obama in the fourth quarter of 2007.
"It's clearly a desperate strategy," University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabbatical said of Bill Clinton's threat. "But they've tried just about everything to beat Obama, and nothing's worked. At this point, what else have they got? The prospect of a white trash ex-president sitting in his boxers on a lawn chair in his front yard sipping cheap beer and hooting at your daughters before scores of national and international media representatives, that's a pretty powerful incentive, I think."
At another campaign stop later in the day, Bill Clinton showed up in a sleeveless undershirt, gym shorts and flip flops, carrying a box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts, and said he was shopping for a house.
"I'm fixin' to get me one uh them biguns up in a fancy neighborhood," Clinton said just before belching loudly. "It's gotta have a giant front yard, though. I need somewhere to put all the spare parts to my 1969 Camaro."
Exit polls conducted over the weekend show a surge of support for Hillary Clinton starting on Sunday, the day after Obama's sweep.
"Given Saturday's election results, you'd expect to see a bump for Obama," William and Mary political scientist Bill Mary said. "Clearly something local has happened to shift the momentum toward Sen. Clinton. I can't say for sure it had anything to do with her husband spray painting 'I love chicks' on the statue of Stonewall Jackson in Manassas, but I suspect that didn't hurt his argument any."