Chelsea Clinton, Kelly Hu campaign on Oahu
|•||Hawaii Democratic Caucuses 2008|
|Photo gallery: Chelsea Clinton begins Hawaii campaigning|
|Photo gallery: Democrats on the campaign trail|
|Video: Chelsea Clinton campaigns in Hawaii|
Heading into the final weekend before Tuesday's Democratic caucuses, campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama worked to build excitement yesterday, with Chelsea Clinton drumming up support for her mother and actress Kelly Hu rallying students for Obama.
Chelsea Clinton made two public appearances in Honolulu and plans several more today before flying to Maui for a rally tomorrow.
The former first daughter's visit to Hawai'i shows just how seriously the Clinton campaign is taking Hawai'i.
There was barely room to move in the Kalihi-Palama Health Center Downtown clinic, as hundreds of people crammed into the building for the chance to talk to Clinton, take photos and get her autograph.
"It's very exciting," said David Kona, 15, as a crowd gathered on the sidewalk in front of the clinic, waiting for Clinton to arrive.
Clinton focused on the issue of universal healthcare, telling a packed waiting room that the center was the type of facility Hillary Clinton hopes to see across the country: "A synthesis of prevention and care and community outreach, culturally informed healthcare delivery. ... This is why she's so dedicated to community healthcare."
Later, before dozens of staff and faculty members at the University of Hawai'i-West O'ahu, the 27-year-old deftly fielded questions on her mother's views on universal healthcare, the war in Iraq, the economy, the environment and other issues.
What some called Chelsea Clinton's poise and articulate answers prompted one person to ask her whether she planned to follow in her parents' footsteps and go into politics.
"My political aspirations stretch to try to do everything I can to have my mom be my president," she told a crowd gathered to hear her at UH-West O'ahu. "I believe in my mom, there's no one in the world that I believe in more and I love more and I trust more."
After the appearance, UH-West O'ahu student Amanda Silliman said, "I'm informed now more than I was before. It would be really nice to see a female president in the White House who has reasonable policies."
At a student rally for Obama at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Maya Soetoro-Ng, his half-sister, spoke about her brother to a group of about 250 people — most of whom were under 30. Energy at the event was high and picked up even more as Hu pumped up the crowd with pledges to get out the vote for a native son.
"We have a chance here to create a new story about the future," Soetoro-Ng told the crowd, which erupted in applause.
The speeches were preceded by chants of, "Yes, we can."
Christina Bermudez, 23, epitomized many of the younger people in the crowd.
She said she has never before felt compelled to participate in politics.
But, she said, there's something about Obama.
"It's about hope," Bermudez said. "I actually would like to get more involved in the campaign."
Soetoro-Ng spoke to the students in the crowd about what she called her brother's special ties to the university.
As children, she said, the two would search for toads in Manoa Stream and romp around the campus searching for something to do.
Obama's parents were fellows at the East-West Center. "Our memories fill this space and we are filled by this campus," she said. "He (Obama) has a strong affinity for all of the rhythms of these Islands. Barack knows us."
Campaigns for U.S. Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama will be holding events in Hawai'i today and tomorrow.
Here is a day-by-day list of events, provided by the respective campaigns:
7:30 a.m.: Chelsea Clinton tours Farmer's Market, Kapi'olani Community College, 4303 Diamond Head Road
9:30 a.m.: Clinton boards "Hawaii For Hillary" trolley, William S. Richardson School of Law, the University of Hawai'i-Manoa parking lot, 2515 Dole St.
11 a.m.: Clinton attends Faith Action for Community Equality Healthcare Summit and Health Fair with state Sen. Colleen Hanabusa, Capitol auditorium
12:45 p.m.: Clinton visits Zippy's Restaurant, Koko Marina Center, 7192 Kalaniana'ole Highway, Suite No. A-143
2 p.m.: Clinton attends The Great Aloha Run Sports, Health & Fitness Expo, Neal S. Blaisdell Center Exhibition Hall, 777 Ward Ave.
3:30 p.m.: Clinton volunteers at "Hawaii For Hillary" phone bank, Hawaii Government Employees Association office, 888 Mililani St.
10 a.m. - 1 p.m.: Obama potluck, with Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, actress Kelly Hu and Congressman Neil Abercrombie, Kapi'olani Park, across from the fountain
11:30 a.m.: Clinton attends "Hawai'i For Hillary" rally, David J. Trask Jr. Building, 2145 Kaohu St., Wailuku, Maui
3-4 p.m.: Obama for Hawaii rally, Farrington High School Library, 1564 N. King St.