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Published November 02 2012

Forum editorial: Clinton’s visit helps Heitkamp

No matter your partisan proclivity, it has to be conceded that Heidi Heitkamp’s U.S. Senate campaign scored big when former President Bill Clinton stopped in Fargo on Monday for a rally at the downtown Civic Center. An overflow crowd showed up despite less than 24 hours’ advance notice. Consensus was he could have filled a building twice the size of the Civic.

Maybe, maybe not. But the Civic rally was impressive, not only for the Heitkamp campaign but also for the efficient work of city officials and law enforcement personnel who scrambled to meet security requirements for a former president.

It’s risky to predict the effect of Clinton’s rally on the contest between Heitkamp and Congressman Rick Berg. But because some polls have the race so close (others do not), the Clinton touch could make a difference.

This much is not in question: Bill Clinton is the most popular political figure in the nation and arguably the most respected former president in the modern era. Surely, not everyone feels that way because of Clinton’s behavior while president, but poll after poll confirms his appeal is huge. And it crosses party, gender and age lines. Therefore, since undecided North Dakota voters are still up for grabs in the close Senate race, Clinton’s star power can only be good news for Heitkamp.


Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.