Late on October 22, Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine came to the University of Pennsylvania’s Penn Park to rally support for their ticket with little more than two weeks before Election Day.
Despite a fifty-minute late start and sporadic technical difficulties throughout Clinton’s speech, the event certainly showed the support Clinton has in Philadelphia and on Penn’s campus.
Kaine took the stage first, noting that the Philadelphia crowd’s enthusiasm would give the Clinton ticket the jolt of energy they would need to carry them through the coming weeks. After beginning with brief endorsements of Democratic senators and city councilmen, Kaine turned his attention to the “insult-driven” campaign of rival Republican candidate Donald Trump. He opposed Trump on multiple levels, specifically objecting to his evasion of taxes, his use of Chinese building materials, his praise for Vladimir Putin, his refusal to pledge a peaceful transition of power, and his complaints of a rigged election.
Kaine then transitioned to his support for Clinton. He first pointed out the significance of nominating a woman for president at the Democratic National Convention. He explained how important it was for young girls and boys to look up to a woman who never let obstacles stand in her way – a woman who for years had been told that politics was “a man’s profession” and that “this isn’t for you.”
Kaine ended his speech declaring that the democratic campaign serves as an optimistic message to young girls: if a woman can be president, she can be anything.
A laughing Clinton took to the podium next amidst energetic “Hillary!” chants from the audience. At the start of her speech, Clinton thanked the Daily Pennsylvanian for joining the Wellesley News in endorsing her for President. She then pitched her support for Senator Bob Casey, Pennsylvania Attorney General candidate Josh Shapiro, Congressional candidate Dwight Evans, and US Senate candidate Katie McGinty. Her endorsement for McGinty was the most emphatic; she slammed McGinty’s opponent, Senator Pat Toomey, for not opposing Trump.
Clinton then shifted to her positive message, explicitly stating her goal to give the people “something to vote for, not just against.” She established two specific goals: first, to create an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top, and second, to be a president for all of the people – especially young people – and to always work hard, even for those who are not for her.
Clinton shifted to the latest Trump controversy to further set her campaign apart. She identified Trump’s refusal to say he will accept the outcome of the election as an opposition to a peaceful transition of power. She argued that this American tradition with which Trump seemed to disagree represents the difference between tyranny and democracy. According to Clinton, the best way to demonstrate that Trump’s perspective is false is to vote.
She then recognized the record number of registered voters as a sign that “people are coming together… to reject the hate and division that sets Americans against each other.”
Challenging Trump’s campaign even further, she proclaimed “anger is not a plan,” and that this anger “does not lead to action and change.” Rather than embracing this anger, she advocated investing in American families with a middle-out and bottom-up economic strategy similar to that of her husband and that of President Obama.
Before outlining her perspective on education and jobs in America, Clinton briefly pushed a clean-energy agenda, arguing that Germany, China, or the United States has the chance to become the first global clean energy superpower of the twenty-first century.
Shortly afterward, Clinton moved on to education, first stating her support for universal pre-kindergarten. She vowed that every child in America would obtain a sufficiently-high quality of education and that teachers would be provided with the support they would need to do the most important job in the world.
Her discussion of education continued with her intentions to lower college tuition. Thanks to a plan she developed with the assistance of Senator Bernie Sanders, Clinton assured the student-filled audience that families earning under $125,000 per year will send children to college for free. She further pledged that families earning higher than that will send children to college debt-free, and that no family would ever have to pay more than it could afford for higher education.
Clinton concluded her speech explaining just how much is at stake in this election. She asked those who are deeply concerned about the minimum wage, women’s rights, racism, climate change, immigration reform, education, and health care to not only get out and vote but to reach out to Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike.
“Friends don’t let friends vote for Donald Trump,” she ended, urging her supporters in jest to stage interventions when necessary in order to convert voters to her cause. She urged every voter to think about the future of this country and to remember three simple words: “Love trumps hate.”