I attended two of Bill Clinton's events yesterday. People lined up in the rain with their umbrellas to attend the Reading event at Albright College and seemed excited one of the campaigns had arrived. The President arrived about ons chedule and spent time in some meetings while the 2,000 people awaited and began chanting "We want Bill" just as he took the stage with Rep. Thomas Caltagirone and Gov. Edward Rendell.
The former President spoke about how well qualified he feels his wife is and what it means to elect Hillary this year. He spoke positively and articulated many significant facts comparing the Bush record with the condition of the country when he left office. I thought he made a very good case for his wife and I expect Sen. Obama will make an equally compelling case he should be the nominee.
I enjoyed the fact that President Clinton didn't tear down his wife's opponent but lifted her status by speaking about why he feels she is better qualified. I think the voters are tired of the bashing back and forth and want these two contenders to focus on attacking George W. Bush and John W. McCain rather than one another. Democrats want to see a candidate who they feel is willing and able to attack the failed policies of these eight years and criticize the GOP nominee for his support of those policies.
Democrats in Pennsylvania are excited about this race and another nice crowd gathered at Dickinson's Kline gym to listen to Bill Clinton on the third leg of his tour (it began in Pottstown). I arrived in Carlisle just after he began speaking and enjoyed listening and watching how that crowd reacted to his words. Each time Clinton spoke about key issues like energy and health care he spoke eloquently about why these issues are important and how to find solid solutions.
The motorcade passed me on I-81 shortly after I began my return drive and headed to Lewistown and State College. I'm not sure what time he finally finished at Penn State's Rec Hall but I imagine it was late. The number of young people attending at Albright and Dickinson was encouraging and they seemed genuinely excited to have Bill Clinton on their campuses. They turned out and are participating in the process and that's always good. Dickinson saw a handful of Obama students holding a sign at the back of the gym after the event to provide some visibility for their candidate.
This is Commissioner Kevin Barnhardt meeting the President:
State Representaive Tom Caltagirone:
Coroner Dennis Hess with Gov. Rendell: