Niagara Gazette

Local News

October 24, 2013

Heckler no match for Hillary Clinton at UB event

Hillary Rodham Clinton turned the tables on a heckler Wednesday to make her point about the need to find common ground to solve the nation's problems.

During a speech at the University at Buffalo, the former senator and secretary of state first ignored the man's shouts as she spoke of Buffalo as a model for problem-solving through cooperation.

"Because we can't move from crisis to crisis. We have to be willing to come together as citizens to focus on the kind of future we want," she said. As the shouts grew louder from an upper section of bleachers, she added, "which doesn't include yelling. It includes sitting down and talking."

The 6,500 people in attendance reacted with a sustained standing ovation as the heckler was led out.

Clinton spoke for about 30 minutes before taking audience questions, referring to her time representing New York in the U.S. Senate to illustrate a national strategy for advancing the economy. She said long-term investments she helped facilitate in technology, the arts and Buffalo's waterfront are now starting to pay off for the region.

"That is exactly what we need to be doing," she said, "in Buffalo, in New York, in America."

During the question-and-answer session, the former first lady deflected the inevitable question about whether she'd run for president by saying she hoped whoever ran would be able to "isolate the extreme voices" and allow the majority of people to be heard.

"I'm hoping we will ... move away from the slash and burn politics, the name calling, the excessive partisanship that we've seen too much of lately," she said.

In her talk, which was part of the university's Distinguished Speakers Series, Clinton said the partial government shutdown that forced President Barack Obama to cancel a recent trip to Asia could negatively affect the way the U.S. is perceived in other countries.

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