I Heart Hillary

Presidential Politics in the Hoosier State

As Indiana University political science professor Marjoire Hershey asserted in her 2008 Indiana Magazine of History article, “Hoosiers do not usually see presidential campaigns in person.” Yet, the prolonged 2008 Democratic primary, between historic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, thrust the Hoosier state into the national spotlight.  In April 2008, Hillary Clinton’s campaign ambushed the state, with stops by the senator to rarely VIP visited cities like Kokomo and Jeffersonville. President Clinton’s stops included Salem and Corydon. 1

This homemade polo created by Corydon Central High School LGBT and ally students was worn at Bill Clinton’s April 14, 2008 rally in Corydon’s junior high school gymnasium. When asked why she created the shirt, Kristen DiGuiseppe explained, “She’s the first woman to actually have a chance to become president, and she supports gay rights! She’s a strong woman who’s got the experience and capability to be president. Plus, I wanted to match my fabulous gay friend.”

LGBT issues permeated even “flyover” state voters, enough for even future Indiana University Hoosiers to publically express their political opinions in rural southern Indiana.  "To the extent that citizens of Indiana - including even university students - were stimulated to pay attention to national politics by the unexpected prominence of the Indiana primary,” Hershey explained,  “the state will have received a valuable boost in continuing citizenship education.”2

1. Marjorie Randon Hershey, "The Whole World Was Watching ... Again: Indiana's 2008 Presidential Primary," Indiana Magazine of History, Vol. 104, No. 4, December 2008, 386 

2. Hershey, 394