November 4, 2016

STRAIGHT-UP, HARD-HITTING REPORTING FROM THE LOS ANGELES TIMES: Bill Clinton, the natural, reaches out to voters in places that love Trump.

He seems to be enjoying every moment, every speck of attention, as he campaigns in battleground states for his wife, Hillary, who is seeking the presidency. Over two days last week, he visited six cities and towns in Ohio and Pennsylvania. He popped into universities, union halls, churches and auditoriums.

“They send me to where her opponent is strong,” he told a crowd of still-sleepy students one morning in Cleveland.

Onstage, sometimes he pauses, midsentence, and it seems like maybe he’s lost his thread. That can happen at the dawn of your eighth decade. But he’s just considering his next line, and he always finishes his thought.

He no longer fires up a crowd like the Obamas, undisputed rock stars of the Democratic campaign trail.

But he brings something to the race that the Obamas cannot: his white, working-class bona fides.

His working-class fides must be bona indeed, to command up to half a million dollars a speech.

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