Clinton, Obama Speak to Communications Workers

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The Democratic presidential rivals — Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. Hillary Clinton — speak to the Communications Workers of America in Washington, D.C.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Before today's Senate hearing, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama paid to visit to the Communications Workers of America. The labor union is holding a conference a few blocks from the Capitol.

And while Clinton and Obama have fought for months over policies, delegates, even how well they can bowl, NPR's David Greene reports that today, everyone seemed to be getting along just fine.

(Soundbite of music)

DAVID GREENE: There are moments in politics that really need a soundtrack.

Unidentified Man: Try to get the logistics out of the way before we get started here. So, the Clinton escort committee over here, the Obama escort committee over here. Thank you.

GREENE: Okay. So, Clinton and Obama spoke a few minutes apart, but if you listened to some of what they said, they could have been tag-teaming.

Senator HILLARY CLINTON (Democrat, New York; Presidential Candidate): We cannot afford four more years of the same.

(Soundbite of cheering)

Senator BARACK OBAMA (Democrat, Illinois): And that's what John McCain is offering, and that's why we'll come together this fall.

(Soundbite of music)

GREENE: They covered many of the same topics. Take health insurance.

Sen. CLINTON: Health insurance is out of reach for 47 million Americans.

Sen. OBAMA: The richest nation on earth leaves 47 million people without health insurance.

GREENE: Both candidates fed off the crowd.

(Soundbite of cheering)

Sen. CLINTON: You guys get me all worked up.

Sen. OBAMA: I'm all fired up now.

(Soundbite of music)

GREENE: The crowd really responded today except when the candidates returned to old attack lines. Then the crowd was silent.

Sen. CLINTON: I'm offering real solutions, not just speeches.

Sen. OBAMA: We can keep playing the same old Washington game.

GREENE: They did finish on high notes.

Sen. OBAMA: We are going to change this country. We are going to change the world. Thank you very much everybody. God bless you. Thank you.

(Soundbite of cheering)

Sen. CLINTON: Together, we are going to take back our country.

GREENE: After the speeches, union member Aukey Thomas(ph) said he knows most days don't feel like this. It has been a bitter campaign.

Mr. AUKEY THOMAS (Union Member): They can't all be lovey-dovey with each other, you know, they got to separate themselves.

GREENE: But he added…

Mr. THOMAS: There's too much that they have in common versus what they don't.

GREENE: Another worker, Maybelle Serano(ph), said she'll be happy with whoever takes the Democratic nomination.

Ms. MAYBELLE SERANO: Who wouldn't be? Yeah. They'd be like, do I want $1 million in $100- bill or I want $1 million in $50-bills. You know, either way, I'm getting $1 million.

GREENE: First things first. Obama and Clinton will soon be back in Pennsylvania fighting this thing out.

David Greene, NPR News, Washington.

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