When former President Bill Clinton called the Alaska Public Employees Association on Jan. 19, he was looking for Juneau resident Cindy Spanyers. Instead he got a receptionist who didn't believe the guy with the Arkansas accent was really the two-term president.
"She thought 'this is obviously a hoax,' but she put the call through," Spanyers said.
It was Clinton, though, she said.
"It was definitely Bill," and he wanted to make a pitch to Spanyers to support his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, for the Democratic nomination for president.
Spanyers is a "superdelegate," one of a handful of delegates who are going to the convention automatically because of their party positions.
The former president told Spanyers what Hillary would do as president, and Spanyers told the former president what issues she thought were important.
Spanyers brought up Medicare, and said she wanted to make sure retirees in Alaska can see physicians. She also brought up the difficulty Alaska veterans have in getting care from Veterans Affairs facilities.
"It's becoming more difficult for them to find medical care, especially in their hometowns," she said.
"He told me about the work Hillary was doing on the Veterans Committee (in the Senate) and her early endorsement from Gen. Wesley Clark," she said.
Spanyers also made sure the Clintons understood the value of the Denali Commission, a federally funded effort to help rural Alaska develop, and assured him that it was "not another bridge to nowhere," she said.
"He chuckled good-naturedly," she said.
They also talked about Hillary Clinton's summer in Alaska during college, when she worked on a slime line at a Valdez fish plant.
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