Clintons Hit Pennsylvania for Obama
Erie, Pa. — Two of Sen. Barack Obama’s top surrogates, Bill and Hillary Clinton, barnstormed through western Pennsylvania Monday appealing for support in the only “blue” state that remains competitive.
Sen. John McCain also made an appearance in the state. Republicans strategists believe that capturing Pennsylvania’s 21 electoral votes is McCain’s only path to the White House on Tuesday. But recent polls show Obama has a 10-point lead.
Democrats hope to swamp McCain in Philadelphia and its suburbs, while holding their own in the more rural western part of the state, en route to an Obama victory and possibly a pick-up of one congressional seat.
Sen. Clinton visited Obama volunteers in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., a suburb of Pittsburgh. “I’m hopeful and optimistic,” she told reporters at the Mt. Lebanon Obama campaign headquarters after firing up the volunteers. “But I don’t want to take anything for granted. We’ve worked too hard and come too far to take anything for granted.”
McCain flew into an airport in Moon Township, just outside Pittsburgh, for a mid-afternoon rally with Republicans in an airport hangar. The event lasted about 20 minutes.
Speaking to a crowd of roughly 2,500, McCain slammed Obama on taxes, energy policy and the war in Iraq. Since incorporating “Joe the Plumber” into his stump speeches, McCain has taken to identifying all Joe’s by their profession or last name, including “Joe the Lieberman,” the independent Connecticut senator traveling with McCain, and “Joe the Biden.”
Bill Clinton appeared at what he said was his 40th campaign event on behalf of for Obama, stopping at McDowell High School. As is his custom, the former president began with a trip down memory lane, recalling this time his visit to Erie after the 1992 convention in New York City. Then he briefly mentioned his party’s poor recent track record in running for the White House (Democrats have only won the presidency twice since 1968), followed by an analysis of why that’s about to change.
“The country is in a terrible mess again, but this is a much more diverse country,” Clinton said. “It’s not a more liberal country; it’s a more communitarian country. We had enough of their ‘on your own,’ we’re going forward together.”
Earlier in the day, Clinton stumped for Rep. John Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat in some political trouble because of his remarks that parts of western Pennsylvania are “racist” and “redneck.”