As the presidential race heats up, so does the student activity surrounding it on campus. Two days after the launch of Yale Students for Obama, Ben Zweifach ’09 sent a campus-wide e-mail Monday announcing the formation of Yale Students for Hillary, in support of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid.
“She is truly a shockingly impressive individual who deserves all the effort we can muster to nominate her and elect her President,” Zweifach wrote.
But in an interview, Zweifach said he faces an uphill battle. Yalies seem more supportive of Illinois Sen. Barack Obama than Clinton, he said.
“From the people I’ve talked to, there are many more people excited about Obama,” he said. “I think that’s the nature of him as a young guy.”
While the Clinton and Obama groups will operate in opposition to one another, Zweifach said he has “nothing bad to say” about Obama, whom he met briefly while working in Clinton’s Senate office last summer. But he said he has always loved Clinton.
“From the way things were run [in her Senate office], I was so impressed, and of course I agree with all her policies,” he said.
In the e-mail, Zweifach said the group was not a response to the Saturday kickoff of Yale Students for Obama, but that it spurred him to launch the group earlier than he had planned.
Zweifach said Yale students might be more supportive of Obama because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war, but he defended Clinton, who has been criticized for her refusal to apologize completely for her vote in favor of the war. Although Obama had not yet been elected when the Senate voted to approve the war in 2002, he was vocal in his opposition to it.
Roger Low ’07, a founder of Yale Students for Obama and a former News columnist, said he is happy that the Clinton group is being formed.
“It’s good people are organizing,” he said. “I like Hillary. I just happen to like Obama a lot more.”
Zweifach said he has received over 50 supportive e-mails since the announcement. The group will have its first meeting on Friday.