Devotion outweighs hate at Clinton stop

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COLUMBIA - Evidence of the public's distaste - and deep affection - for Hillary Rodham Clinton surfaced Saturday during the presidential hopeful's speech at the national College Democrats convention.

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** CORRECTS SPELLING OF COMYNS ** Marti Comyns protests Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., while Clinton speaks to delegates at the National Convention of College Democrats, Saturday, July 28, 2007, at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)  Associated Press
Associated Press
** CORRECTS SPELLING OF COMYNS ** Marti Comyns protests Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., while Clinton speaks to delegates at the National Convention of College Democrats, Saturday, July 28, 2007, at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain)

Carrying a sign that read, "Hillary Clinton is a cold, calculating, power-hungry woman," a lone protester walked in and marched up the center aisle before being escorted out while shouting, "She's a liar, she's a liar."

The crowd of about 600 at first booed the woman, then quickly stood and began cheering "Hillary, Hillary."

"One of the things I love about politics, you never know what the day will bring," Mrs. Clinton said with a smile before resuming her prepared remarks.

The New York senator's visit was the third by a Democratic presidential candidate to the convention. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois spoke Thursday, followed by a visit from former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina on Friday evening.

All three emphasized similar, crowd-pleasing themes, including making college education more accessible and affordable. And they strongly encouraged political activism.

"If there ever were an argument about the importance of politics and elections, I think it has been felled by the disastrous performance of George Bush," Mrs. Clinton said.

She repeated her support for the establishment of a Public Service Academy, intended to provide a four-year college education, subsidized by the federal government, in exchange for graduates' five-year commitment to public service.

University of Pittsburgh student Lissa Geiger backs Mrs. Clinton and believes she will do well in the primaries.

"I think she, unlike (John) Kerry in 2004, who had no base, has the strongest base of any of the candidates," she said.

Reach Kirsten Singleton at (803) 414-6611 or kirsten.singleton@morris.com.


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