Downtown Flint abuzz over Pres. Clinton visit - WNEM TV 5

Downtown Flint abuzz over Pres. Clinton visit

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A bit of a buzz in downtown Flint Tuesday night. Former President Bill Clinton is scheduled to visit the city Wednesday, to speak at the Riverfront Banquet Center. A lot of residents think that's exciting.

"To have the former president of the United States visit Flint I think is just kind of cool," says resident Brian Wall.

Clinton has been out of the White House for over a decade. But former President Bill Clinton still has a huge following.

"He was very charismatic. And the 90's were just such, the economy was really doing well," says Richard Purdy, a fan of Clinton's.

Michigan democrats are hoping to capitalize on Mr. Clinton's popularity. He's set to speak in front of more than 1,000 people to drum up support for Mark Schauer, the democratic candidate for governor. Clinton will also be stomping for Gary Peters, the democrat in a tight race for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

"It's important for people to see if this race is important enough for the former President of the United States to take time out of his schedule to come to Flint, Michigan that those of us that live here should be seeing it as important enough an election get involved in and at least to go vote," Rep. Dan Kildee (D-MI 5th District) tells TV5.

Clinton often commands thousands for speaking engagements. But, tickets to the event in Flint were given away free... and were gone in minutes.

"They sent us an email over at the university that traffic might be an issue with coming to work or school tomorrow," says Garry Green who works in downtown Flint.

Representatives say no special parking arrangements have been made for those attending the event. So, people are urged to plan ahead. Parking will be available in the flat lot on Saginaw St., the ramp at the banquet center and on the street.

Whether democrat or republican, many say the former president's visit shines a positive light on Mid-Michigan.

"Anything that can generate a positive image for Flint versus the negative image that everybody's usually aware of, yeah it's a good thing," adds Green.

Count on TV5 for complete coverage of President Clinton's visit beginning Wednesday at Noon.

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