Chelsea Clinton campaigns for mom at Santa Barbara City College

Stephen DeFilippo

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton visited City College Friday to answer questions about her mother’s campaign from students and members of the community.

Although Hillary Clinton was not present, the 27-year-old responded to questions on issues ranging from health care, the economy, and even the decriminalization of marijuana.

“I want to help make my mom’s campaign accessible,” Chelsea said.

The Campus Center was filled and left many standing. Chelsea arrived 30 minutes later than scheduled.

Before opening up to any questions, Chelsea urged everyone to visit Clinton’s Web site to better understand the senator’s stance on issues and plans for her potential presidency.

Many recognize the growing youth voter turnout this election with many candidates joining the online social networks of Facebook and Myspace. One young woman asked Chelsea why young voters should vote for Hillary.

“I would urge you to think about what is the most important to you and how that is filtered through the prism of what each of the candidates is proposing, as an American and as a young voter,” Clinton said.

Another woman came with a message from her father who could not attend the event, saying “Mexican men are ready for their woman.”

Not all in attendance were thinking politics. There was a roar of laughter after KJEE’s Adam Lundquist asked Chelsea if she was single, and if she would go see “Rambo five” with him. Lundquist left dateless.

While Chelsea was met with dozens of supporters wielding Hillary ’08 signs and wearing pins, some showed support for other candidates.

Jon Gottlieb, wearing a white “Obama 08” T-shirt, asked Chelsea what senator Clinton will do differently after having taken contributions from insurance companies.

Chelsea responded that all candidates have taken contributions from a number of industries.

“She’s perfectly happy to stand up to her own constituents when she needs to,” Chelsea said.

One city college student asked Chelsea on Clinton’s stance on the decriminalization of medical marijuana.

Chelsea said her mother would not continue the “federal raid mentality” of the Bush administration.

Although the questions varied, many of Chelsea’s responses channeled back to her mother’s support for universal health care.

“I’m really proud that my mom tried to get universal healthcare before it was fashionable,” Chelsea said.

Hillary’s 16-page “American Health Choices Plan” can be downloaded from her campaign website.

Superintendent-President John Romo and Associated Student President Tom Fitzgerald introduced the presidential contender’s daughter.

The stop at City College was part of the “Our Voice, Our Future Tour,” a two-week tour that launched Jan. 22 as an effort to rally young voter support for Clinton’s campaign.