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Bill Clinton a Boon, After All

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Rodham Clinton cheers with hotel workers at the Mandalay Bay Hotel on caucus day in Las Vegas. (AP Photo)

By Shailagh Murray
Two factors appeared to sway the outcome on the Strip: a backlash among some workers towards the Culinary Workers Union, and former president Bill Clinton, who spent much of the past week glad-handing casino workers in employee lounges and the like.

"I really thought (Obama) was going to get more union support," said Anthony Edwards, who works in customer service at the Bellagio and caucused for the Illinois senator. But when the union started pushing Obama last week, after its endorsement, "a lot of people said, woah, wait a minute. And today at least, they jumped off the union bandwagon."

Eddie Hunter, a Bellagio blackjack dealer, looked dejected as she returned to her post, Obama button still pinned to her blouse. "Hillary is good too, so I'm not surprised," she said. "Hearing people talk, I knew it was going to be close."

Xiao Jing Gu, a Bellagio housekeeper holding a sign, "I support my union. I support Hillary," said she was hooked by the Bill Clinton connection. "He did so many good things for this country," she said. "Now his wife will do the same."

By Web Politics Editor  |  January 19, 2008; 4:51 PM ET
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