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Hillary praises Obama at Queens Village gala

The Clintons came back to Queens last Thursday with U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D−N.Y.) making a stop to schmooze with Queens Democrats and stump for presidential hopeful and former opponent U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D−Ill.).

Clinton headlined a long list of prominent Democrats who spoke at the Queens Democratic Committee cocktail party at Antun’s in Queens Village last Thursday. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, appeared on the same night at Queens College.

The soirÉe also included Queens Democratic Party Boss U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley (D−Jackson Heights); state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D−Manhattan); state Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith (D−St. Albans); state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; a bevy of Queens city, state and federal elected officials; and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn (D−Manhattan) — fresh from leading a victorious campaign to overturn term limits in the City Council.

Clinton stressed the importance of the Democratic Party not only taking control of the presidency, but also making gains in key Senate, congressional and state races.

“We cannot go another four years with the ideology, the idiocy, the inconsistency of the Republican Party,” she said. “It will make such a difference for New York to have a Democratic president in the United States. My job will be a lot easier if we have a President Obama.”

Clinton also commended Borough President Helen Marshall and former Borough President Claire Shulman, both of whom were in attendance.

“There’s something very nice about coming back to Queens because you have the good judgement to elect women presidents,” she said to a roar of laughter and applause.

In his speech, Silver reflected on when he and Crowley served in the state Assembly together.

“When Joe and I were together 12 years ago or 14 years ago — we had to deal with two Georges — George Bush and George Pataki. By Nov. 5, we’ll be rid of both of them.”

DiNapoli, meanwhile, urged confidence in government during the economic turmoil facing the city and state.

“New York’s going to come through this greater and stronger and more intelligent than ever,” he said. “Have faith in our great state and our country.”

Reach reporter Stephen Stirling by e−mail at Sstirling@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, ext. 138.

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