April
17th 2008
Historiann exclusive: Hillary Clinton at Haverford College today

Posted under: American history, women's history

Our embed at Bryn Mawr, E.H., has reported back on the Clinton campaign event this afternoon at Haverford College.  Last night, she tipped her hand a bit:  “The event’s theme is something about women through different generations and particularly mother-daughter stuff, I think. The campaign asked that a mother-daughter pair from the community to introduce Chelsea at the beginning of the event. Turns out, I’m the only bi-co student for Hillary they could find whose mother lives close to campus (not to mention my mother is BMC ’70). Hence, my mother and I are introducing Chelsea!”  She added, “I’m so excited that I may not sleep!”  (Photo below borrowed from the Haverford College Democrats.)

This afternoon, she filed a complete report on the event:  “I have to say first that I was surprised how spontaneous and disorganized the event felt from my perspective. My friends who were in the audience said they didn’t get that impression at all and I suppose most campaign events happen that way, but I was still a little surprised. Once my mother and I were finally put in contact with the right person, our instructions were to welcome everyone. We were also told that we’d be welcoming everyone to Haverford and then more music would play before the event really got started. I think we were probably meant to quell the crowd and focus their attention so that Hillary could make her big entrance (almost 15 minutes after we spoke).

“Despite any initial awkwardness, my mom and I had a lot of fun. I guess this was our fifteen minutes of fame. There was so much cheering for almost every sentence we said. I’m pretty sure the cheering was general hype and excitement rather than for us, but I enjoyed it anyways. If someone had told me a month ago that I’d be on stage in front of hundreds of people speaking in support of my political hero, I really would not have believed them.

“When the event started, Hillary came on stage with her mother, Dorothy, and daughter, Chelsea. A woman with a daughter clinging to her neck introduced the family and handed the mic to Chelsea. Chelsea did a quick overview of her support of her mom and then handed the mic over.

“Senator Clinton discussed improving our federal laws to support families.  She said something along the lines of not just saying we support family values, but instead we should value family. She spoke on several specific issues including the Family Medical Leave Act and creating programs that inform parents about educating their children from the earliest age. It was clear that the focus of her message was family, family, family in terms of the economy, federal policies, and education (there was a question about literacy).

“After speaking for twenty minutes or so, she opened the discussion up for questions. I’ll try to remember what they were all about and list them here: (can’t remember the first), literacy, the kyoto protocol, immigration, and that may have been all of them.

“Hillary and Chelsea both stayed to greet audience members who had fought their way to the front of the room. We told Hillary we had done the welcome speech earlier and she pulled us to her side of the security rope so we could wait to see her later. After waiting for a while, however, she was out of time and was being rushed by her staff to leave quickly.

“We got two quick pictures with her and didn’t get to have a conversation at all. I wouldn’t have been disappointed, but it seemed to me that she had wanted to speak to us. (I’m sure she didn’t hear us when we spoke earlier).”

Thanks, E.H., and congratulations and well done to you and your mother!  Readers, let me know if you have any questions for E.H., and I can see that she responds in the comments.  For other news reports, please see the Haverford College Democrats, and this news report from a local ABC news affiliate that features some video from the Haverford event.  E.H. promises to send photos, but she’s got a midterm tomorrow.  (Love that Bryn Mawr work ethic, don’t’cha?)  If she gets a chance to file them, I’ll update this post.

5 Comments »

5 Responses to “Historiann exclusive: Hillary Clinton at Haverford College today”

  1. Indyanna on 17 Apr 2008 at 8:55 pm #

    This is a great post and it sounds like it was an even more energized event than the one I saw yesterday with Bill. (Which is getting enthused and even fervent coverage in the small town press out here in the west. The Leahy crowd was clearly nuts to want the primaries to end early a few weeks ago. Even presuming just some modest or even token reconciliation between whoever wins and whoever doesn’t in August, the dividend from firing up so many American hinterlands should be great in November. I don’t think the party pros and the coastal punditocracy quite understand this phenomenon yet).

    In any event, a fascinating first-person account, E.H. I imagine the Clintons’ getting swept away by her aides–however disappointing after you and your mom did her a great favor–only illustrates how scripted and scheduled these campaign events have to be. The Big Dog is said by the local paper here to have lingered for 20 minutes shaking every hand he could, even though he was supposed to be in the next town two minutes after his speech ended. But he always was a schedule buster! Only one question: What’s a bi-co student?

  2. Historiann on 17 Apr 2008 at 9:00 pm #

    Sorry: bi-co = bi-college, which is the collective name for Bryn Mawr and Haverford students. I didn’t even notice it in E.H.’s account, because it’s the same term we used back in the day, when Eleanor Roosevelt stopped by the campus to campaign for Gore Vidal! (Kidding.)

  3. Indyanna on 17 Apr 2008 at 10:04 pm #

    Got it. That must leave the Swarthmoreans feel… almost dumped in the Delaware River. Anticipation is starting to build palpably in Transaltoonia. In ten days or so, of course, Pennsylvania will be “so last April,” as the wave moves on to Carolina and the real Indiana, but it’s nice to be noticed for the time being.

  4. Maggie Bishop on 10 May 2008 at 4:04 pm #

    The first question was about Hurricane Katrina Relief. I asked it and found her response very articulate.

  5. Historiann on 10 May 2008 at 7:20 pm #

    Hi Maggie–thanks for stopping by to comment.

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