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Bill Clinton to campaign for Hillary in Columbia

Former President Bill Clinton surprised volunteers with his wife’s campaign after the Democratic presidential debate in Charleston this month.
Former President Bill Clinton surprised volunteers with his wife’s campaign after the Democratic presidential debate in Charleston this month. jself@thestate.com

Former president Bill Clinton is coming to Columbia on Wednesday to campaign for Hillary Clinton, his wife’s presidential campaign told The State newspaper.

The former president will address Democratic members of the S.C. General Assembly before speaking at a public rally at 6 p.m. at the historically black Allen University.

The stop in Columbia is the former president’s second in the Palmetto State to campaign for his wife.

He was in Charleston earlier this month for the Democratic presidential debate. He and Hillary Clinton surprised her campaign volunteers at a watch party after the debate.

The former president has campaigned for Hillary Clinton in Iowa, whose Democratic voters go first in picking their favorite candidate Monday, and New Hampshire, which holds the second presidential primary, on Feb. 9.

Bill Clinton has visited South Carolina twice for speaking engagements since the 2008 presidential election.

The former president campaigned for his wife during the 2008 S.C. Democratic presidential primary that then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama won in a landslide.

The race was hard fought.

Bill Clinton was accused of dismissing Obama’s win because he was black, saying another black presidential candidate, the Rev. Jesse Jackson won the S.C. primaries in 1984 and 1988.

U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn, an African-American Democrat from Columbia, said in his 2014 memoir that Bill Clinton called him on the night of the 2008 primary and blamed him for his wife’s loss, quoting the former president as saying, “If you bastards want a fight, you damn well will get one.”

Regarding the incident eight years ago, Clyburn told Time he feels “no animus” toward the Clintons.

Hillary Clinton is doing better in South Carolina in 2016.

The former secretary of state has maintained a commanding lead in the state’s Feb. 27 Democratic presidential primary over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, buoyed by support from African-American voters.

But Clinton and Sanders are locked in a tight race in Iowa. Sanders leads in New Hampshire, a neighbor to Vermont.

If you go

What: President Bill Clinton stumps for wife Hillary Clinton

Where: Allen University, John Hurst Gymnatorium, 1530 Harden St.

When: 6 p.m.

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