THE BLOG

Clinton's Philadelphia Primary-Eve Rally

PHILADELPHIA-- Hillary Clinton spoke at the University of Pennsylvania, Polestra campus on the eve of the primary and she had a good turnout.

Both candidates have been campaigning extensively in the state for the last seven weeks. Near the vicinity of the event, Barack Obama supporters passed out campaign literature.

Clinton seemed on top of her game at Polestra, a significant improvement over her appearance at Penn State Sunday night.

Polestra was her last stop before the contested primary and people jumped up and down in the bleachers in support. It was a lively scene.

Former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, Governor Ed Rendell, Mayor Michael Nutter, and Ohio Representative Stephanie Jones all took the stage prior to Clinton. Jones really got the crowd amped up. "Look at how P.A.'s for Hillary," shouted Jones. The crowd responded with chantings of "yes we can."

Signs filled the hands of some, one read, "Latinos para Hillary." Another was handmade. Someone copied the vintage-style Obama-sign design and colors but put Clinton's picture on it.

At roughly 10:20 p.m. former President Bill Clinton took the stage. He spoke about unity to the crowd, about Hillary and change.

"All her life she's been a change maker." He mentioned change again a few beats later. Then he said, "she is the best change maker I have ever known."

It was another borrowing of vintage Obama.

Former President Clinton introduced Hillary at 10:45 p.m. to the song "This Is Our Country."

Dressed in orange-red blazer, she strode onto the stage In front of a large American flag, a set piece at her rallies. She talked about the economy, education, healthcare, and energy independence. "It is not only for America, it is for humanity," said Clinton about an advanced energy policy. This drew big cheers and more chanting from the crowd.

Clinton said she would end the war in Iraq, and begin to bring troops home within 60 days.

"...I can begin to withdraw our troops within 60 days, and I know, I know, how difficult and dangerous this is. I understand how dire the potential consequences can be. But I also know, that our young men and women in uniform have performed heroically, they have done everything they have been asked to do."

"It is time for you to decide," said Clinton toward the end of her speech.

The primary-eve rally ended with the Rocky theme song blasting over the speakers.

Three University of Pennsylvania students, who attended the rally together, decided they would vote for Clinton on Tuesday.

"She got my vote tonight," said Clint Randall, a city planning student. Randall, who attended a recent Barack Obama rally, was undecided prior to Clinton's rally. Randall said Clinton had a clear outline, and the practice to know how to make things happen.

Donnie Maley, also a city planning student, said he has always been a Clinton supporter, but was unsure of a superdelegate victory, and wanted to hear her in person. Maley said her plans for crime and energy transportation were important to him.

Medical student, Jake Lazarus said health care is an important issue to him because of the health care issues he sees while practicing medicine. "She is the only one with the knowledge and experience to make it happen," said Lazarus.

Maria Perez and Maria Laboy are passionate Clinton supporters. "She was everything I expected and more," said Laboy, a retired supervisor of instruction for public schools. "If she wins tomorrow, it's going to be a sweep all the way," said Laboy.

Perez and Laboy are from New Jersey, and will be canvassing on voting day for Clinton. Perez said she will be able to reach out to the Latino voters because she is bilingual. "Latinos are backing her 100 percent," said Laboy.

Perez called Clinton a smart woman, and said, "Hillary is the one to lead us to gain the respect we have lost in the world." Perez, a social service worker in welfare, said, "if Obama gets the nomination, I'm voting republican." Perez said Obama is an elitist.