Hillary Praises MLK, Gets Tepid Response

Hopeful rouses little excitement at event honoring King
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 14, 2008 6:36 PM CST
Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., speaks at a union rally to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., in New York, Monday, Jan. 14, 2008. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton faced a smattering of applause, scattered boos, and a few walkouts at a Martin Luther King, Jr. event in New York today, ABC reports. "Each of us, no matter who we are and where we started from, is a beneficiary of Dr. King," she told the union crowd, mostly security workers. But the cheers for prior speakers turned to polite clapping for Clinton, whose recent remarks about King and Lyndon Johnson have sparked a heated racial debate.

Hillary recalled seeing King speak as a child, and called him “someone who could not be held back by being beaten or gassed or jailed.” She added that the first viable female and black presidential hopefuls owed their candidacies to King, but listeners gave lukewarm reports afterwards. One called her King celebration "ill-timed," and another refused to promise a vote for Clinton. "We'll see, we'll see," he sighed.