Clinton visits familiar turf during book signing tour - The Buffalo News

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Clinton visits familiar turf during book signing tour

Gail Michaels was there to say "thank you" to the woman who had gotten closer than any other to winning the Oval Office.

Tamara Namaste was there to show her continued support.

And Linda Ulrich-Hagner showed up even though the event was sold out.

Buffalo has always proved friendly turf for Hillary Clinton. Through two elections for the Senate, a presidential primary and the 2016 general election, too, voters here cast their votes for the Democrat from Westchester County.

Count Thursday’s book signing at Larkinville as another successful event for the former senator and secretary of state.

Man in Hillary Clinton onesie at Buffalo event turns heads

Hundreds of Hillary fans lined up outside the Filling Station restaurant for a chance to spend approximately three seconds with her as she signed “What Happened,” the new and best selling version of her unsuccessful presidential campaign of 2016.

Photo Gallery: Hillary Clinton signs books in Buffalo

Photo Gallery: Smiles at the Hillary Rodham Clinton book signing

Clinton did not disappoint during the sixth stop on the national tour promoting the book that now tops the New York Times best-seller list and was sponsored locally by the Talking Leaves bookstore. She shook hands and chatted briefly with everyone at the sold out event for people who waited in a line that snaked hundreds of yards through the Larkinville complex, where she maintained an office while in the Senate.

“My heart is fluttering,” said  Michaels, of Williamsville, clutching a copy of “What Happened” after meeting the former first lady. “I was really moved by shaking hands with the first woman candidate for president. I am so impressed that a woman got so far in this political system of ours. I came just to thank her.”

Others in the predominantly female line echoed similar thoughts, with a few rendering not as charitable opinions on the winner of the 2016 presidential contest — Donald Trump.

“She looks good, doesn’t she?” said one woman to another as they passed Secret Service agents and approached the table where she was signing.

Further back in the line,  Namaste, of Buffalo, was wearing a T-shirt proclaiming: Still With Her.

“I actually got it for the signing from Amazon,” she said. “I just want to continue to show my support. I would have loved for her to be president.”

Jennifer McCann, of Amherst, was also wearing a T-shirt depicting Clinton and proclaiming: I was born for this.

“I shook hands with her and she said ‘I love your T-shirt,’ ” McCann said.

Ulrich-Hagner, of East Aurora, watching from outside the line, was one of many who showed up even though the event was sold out and limited only to those who bought the first 1,000 books.

“She had an amazing run,” Ulrich-Hagner said. “I heard that Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she didn’t win because she is a woman and I think she’s right. The prejudice is still there.”

Outside, Ena Wilson and Michele Mueller were among a group from Cincinnati who traveled 7 1/2 hours to renew their acquaintance with Clinton, for whom they had frequently campaigned. The former candidate immediately recognized her old friends.

“You came from Cincinnati?” she screamed while recognizing the loyal group from Ohio. “We’ve got to get a picture.”

“She said ‘We can’t give up,’ ” Mueller said, describing a reunion she called “emotional."

“We were all shocked and surprised that she recognized us, and grateful to be there and thank her for what she has done all these years,” she added. “Oh my goodness, it was worth every mile we drove and every hour we spent.”

Inside, Clinton seemed to be enjoying herself.

“How are things going on the waterfront?” she asked while surrounded by local Democrats including Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, Mayor Byron W. Brown and Assemblywoman Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes.

Only two protesters were visible near the entrance of the Filling Station headquarters for the event. One man marched up and down Seneca Street yelling about Benghazi, while another stood at the entrance with a large sign castigating her for blaming others for her defeat.

“America does not have a problem with a woman in the White House," said protester Jeffrey Damien Cappella of Buffalo, “America has a problem with her in the White House.”

Cappella was greeted with snorts and thumbs down by many passing him as they entered Larkinville.

Clinton’s stop in Buffalo was the sixth in her tour and one of 11 book signing events she has planned. Her next is in San Francisco on Oct. 6.

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