Clinton Brings In Big Bucks For Brown

May 14, 2014

Bill Clinton addresses the crowd at a fundraiser for Anthony Brown's campaign for governor in Potomac, Md.
Credit Christopher Connelly/WYPR

Bill Clinton’s endorsement is possibly the most important one that Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown has gotten in his bid to be Maryland’s next governor.

The former president headlined a fundraiser in Potomac on Wednesday that brought in more than a million dollars, according to the campaign.

The well-heeled crowd munched on hors d’oeuvres and mini cupcakes before the former president spoke. When Clinton took the stage, he told the crowd he’s happy to see Brown leading in the polls “but I’d be here if he was at 5 percent, because I know this guy. I know what is in his heart, I know what in his heart, and I know what his abilities are.”

He told the crowd that the O’Malley-Brown administration had made progress, and choosing Brown means continuing that trajectory. On the troubles with the state's online health insurance marketplace that have plagued Brown's campaign, Clinton told the crowd, "I do not want, ever in my life, to vote for a president or a governor who has never made a mistake or never had a setback. Because if you find one, that person has spent all day everyday locked in the office." He pointed to the efforts to enroll more than 300,000 people in health care despite the problems as a sign of resilience and leadership..

Clinton is a boon to any fundraising effort, but Democratic political strategist Andrew Feldman says a Clinton endorsement brings more than money to Brown in a race that is as much about personality as it is about policy.

“Bill Clinton in star power. He is the most popular person in the Democratic party," Feldman said.

Feldman says he expects brown to play up the Clinton endorsement in ads and mailings as the June 24 primary draws near.