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Park Ridge hometown reacts to Clinton loss

June 4, 2008 4:09:58 PM PDT
Hillary Clinton is the favorite daughter of suburban Park Ridge. One day after Senator Barack Obama claimed victory in the Democratic race for president, in Clinton's hometown there is mixed reaction to the end of her run for president.

Park Ridge is where she grew up, and you might expect there would be overwhelming support for her to stay in it and not concede. But ABC7 found that a lot of Park Ridge residents, like a lot of voters in general, are wondering what it is she's trying to accomplish now.

"I guess I'm just kinda confused as to why she's not conceding, considering that Obama pretty much won the ticket," said Renee Kapel, Clinton supporter.

Kapel says she likes Clinton, and the former first lady is very popular at the Pickwick restaurant in downtown Park Ridge.

Her photo hangs on the wall from an interview a few years ago with Barbara Walters.

But at this point, about the best thing diners Wednesday could say about Clinton was that she, like Obama, made history with her campaign.

"She may have helped other women, that's the good thing about this. She helped other women. She started something, other women are going to be finishing it," said Marlies Banz, restaurant patron.

Park Ridge, a stylish Chicago suburb, is a long way from where Obama grew up and put down roots.

But it's easier to find people in Park Ridge who have kinder things to say about him than her.

"I really can't see how she can go any further at all right now," said Doris Heller, Park Ridge voter.

"She really didn't get her message out to her voter base, which are women, Hispanics, and I think she got on talking about the economy too late in the game," said Howard Frimark, Park Ridge mayor.

The street corner by the house where Clinton grew up is called Radham Corner. And across the street lives 18-year-old Matt Saccomanno, who met Clinton when he was 9.

"She's a great role model for this town and it's too bad for this town, but someone's got to win," he said.

Delmarie Cobb is a Clinton delegate and says after winning 18 million votes, there are many supporters who want to see Clinton take this all the way to the convention.

"I was Jesse Jackson's national press secretary in '88 when he ran for president. We took it to the convention and if he can and he didn't have nearly the number of voters she had, she certainly should be able to take it to the convention," said Cobb.

As for whether she would make a good choice to run for vice president with Obama, quite a few voters feel there's too much water under the bridge to make an Obama-Clinton pairing work. But plenty of others in Park Ridge still consider it the dream ticket, but perhaps not the dream many in Park Ridge had in mind.


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