Bush Youth heart Hillary
LAS VEGAS -- Young Republicans have one thing to say to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton about a possible 2008 presidential bid: Bring it on.Think Hillary would be the answer to these fun lovin' young Republican's dreams, or their worst nightmare?
Members attending the group's biennial convention said it's not too early to talk about how to keep a Republican in the White House, and they think Clinton could help them win again if she were on the Democratic ticket.
"I think it's very likely the senator from New York will run," said Rick Veenstra, 27, chairman of the Illinois Young Republicans. ''She'll bring a lot of people to the polls. The name Clinton before a number of Republicans is akin to waving a red flag."
Convention guests attended several panels and training seminars Thursday, including one on how to mobilize young voters by "keeping it positive, not partisan." They were told the only demographic President Bush lost to Sen. John Kerry in 2004 was the 18-to-29 group.
"This party cannot afford to allow that segment of the population to be Democrat," said Frank Fahrenkopf, former Republican National Committee chairman and Thursday's keynote speaker. "This is where the Young Republicans can be of particular value."
Many here said they would welcome Clinton's entrance because she is a polarizing figure. "It would be absolutely great for us," said Michele Mester, 26, from Cleveland. "She's like a PR nightmare." [For you, perhaps.]
Several of the 600 Young Republicans gathered for the five-day convention mentioned former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Arizona Sen. John McCain as potential presidential contenders.
Others suggested Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee.