Hillary Clinton Praises Philly at Post-Convention Rally
The day after the Democratic National Convention ended, Hillary Clinton went to North Philly to talk up the city.
“I have to begin by thanking our hosts in Philadelphia,” she said. “You know a little something about history, and about making history, and I am so grateful to everyone in the city who held such a great convention, who were so gracious, welcoming and hospitable.
“And I am thrilled that so many Americans from everywhere got a chance to see Philadelphia … people kept coming back from going for walks, going to museums, going to other sites, telling me how much they were impressed.”
Okay, okay, she was also continuing her campaign for president. She walked out on stage around 1:15 this afternoon along with her running made, Tim Kaine, his wife Anne Holton and former president Bill Clinton.
Kaine spoke first, delivering remarks similar to his speech at the DNC (but without a Trump impression this time). “Hey, don’t you guys in Pennsylvania call yourself a commonwealth just like we do in Virginia?” Kaine said. “Anybody who says we’re a commonwealth… what you are saying is the wealth we hold, we hold in common. It’s gotta be about everybody.”
Clinton spoke second, and after praising Philadelphia’s handling of the convention commented on how she believes this is the most important election of her lifetime.
“I don’t know about you, but I stayed up really late last night,” she said. “It was just hard to go to sleep. It was so exciting and, I have to tell you, it was also kind of overwhelming. I take deeply and with great humility what this campaign imposes on us. There is no doubt in my mind that every election in our democracy is important in its own way but I can’t think of an election that is more important in my lifetime. And it’s not so much that I’m on the ticket but it is the stark choice that is posed to America in this election.”
Midway through Clinton’s speech, a man was ejected for yelling: “Hillary Clinton is a war criminal!” He was escorted out without incident, and the crowd chanted “Hillary!” after he screamed.
Clinton and Kaine, and their spouses, will go on a bus tour through Pennsylvania an Ohio after the rally on Temple’s campus. She gave a preview of what her stump speech will be on that tour today.
“We are stronger together,” Clinton said. “And as we pointed out, during our four great days of our convention you heard something very different from the Republicans. We might as well have been talking about two different countries — or as someone said to me, two different planets.”
Clinton and Kaine were introduced by Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey. City Councilwoman Cherelle Parker was the first local politician to speak, her voice hoarse from the weeklong convention. “Before being a councilperson I was a high school English teacher, so we’re going to start off with a little bit of call-and-response,” she said. “When I say, ‘How you feel?’ You say, ‘Fired up!’” After rousing the crowd, she talked about television shows she watched growing up, and things got a little weird when she referenced The Cosby Show. The crowd’s response to that was basically, “Yeeeeeeaaarghhhhrrmm.”
Both Mayor Jim Kenney and U.S. Rep. Bob Brady declared the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia a rousing success. “I have never been prouder to be a Philadelphian, a Democrat and an American than I am right now,” Kenney said. “This was a historic week for our nation and for our great city. Philadelphia, we did real good this week. I’m so proud of the people of this city. We’re a world class city, and now the nation and the world knows it too.”
Brady was more succinct, and gave a message to convention-goers: “Come back, we’ll leave the light on for you — but bring some money back and spend it!”
U.S. Senate hopeful Katie McGinty, running against Pat Toomey for Pennsylvania’s junior senate seat, attempted to tie Toomey to Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. She did this at the convention, too; expect to see it throughout the fall. “The Trump/Toomey team is about arrogance,” she said. “It’s about bluster, it’s about bullying, it’s about ‘I am.’ We’re about ‘We are.’” Toomey has not endorsed Trump but said he “hope[s] to get to the point where I’m fully supporting him.”
Josh Shapiro, the Democratic nominee for Pennsylvania attorney general, attacked Trump directly during his speech. “At the top of the rip-off economy sits Donald Trump,” he said. “Trump has gotten rich not because of his business savvy, but by defrauding working people and seniors and students and small businesses all across America.” He then told stories of two people defrauded by Trump: Melissa Norris, who said she lost $200,000 attending Trump University, and Edward Freel, a Philadelphia cabinet-maker who said his family business went under after Trump stiffed him on work he did for a Trump casino project.
Clinton’s rally was held at McGonigle Hall at Temple University, the school’s old basketball gym. The basketball team now plays at the Liacouras Center, which opened in 1996; McGonigle was renovated in 2012.
Follow @dhm on Twitter.