Hillary Clinton gave an uninspiring speech at a campaign rally in the old student recreation center at UNC-Greensboro on Thursday, Sept. 15.
The speech lasted about 20 minutes, she received one standing ovation from the crowd and two protestors were removed from the audience without incident. Had they stayed and listened, they wouldn’t have heard much.
Hillary Clinton said that, unlike her opponent, she was going to tell people what she planned to do, how she planned to do it and how she planned to pay for it. But she didn’t.
Her speech was the basic Democratic Party line. She is going to make sure everyone has health care they can afford, a good education they can afford, good jobs that pay a good wage and opportunities for everyone. She didn’t mention once how she planned to bring any of this about or how she planned to pay for it all, which is fine, except that she said she would.
The speech was given to a relatively small crowd estimated at between 500 and 1,500 people. The question that remains unanswered is why didn’t the campaign fill the room with the people waiting outside? An hour before the speech the line to get in made it down the steps to the sidewalk in front of the building. Evidently more people decided to come and eventually the line reportedly stretched out of sight. Since the room was only half full – and even that half was not packed – it is strange that the campaign didn’t let more people in.
The balcony was not half full and there were no people beside or behind the large press area in the middle of the room. It is not unusual at a political rally to hear announcements that the rally will start late as they get as many people into the building as possible. This one started a few minutes early.
If a Democratic presidential candidate in the last two months of an election can’t fill a venue on a college campus, something is weird; and this was even weirder because they could have filled the venue but chose not to.
Did someone decide that the long line outside would make Hillary Clinton appear to be more popular than a packed room? This was Hillary Clinton’s first public appearance since she took three days off after collapsing at the 9/11 memorial service in New York. Was the campaign worried that she wouldn’t be able to speak for 20 minutes and wanted to limit the damage? That seems absurd because the damage would be done by television cameras, not by the people in attendance.
The small crowd has evidently sparked conspiracy theorists on the internet who were speculating that the rally never happened at all. These people don’t trust anyone. Hillary Clinton was definitely there and gave her standard stump speech, although a shorter version. She directed everyone to her website for details about what she stood for.
About her recent illness she said, “As you may know, I recently had a cough that turned out to be pneumonia.” She had said earlier that the cough was due to allergies, but now it was due to pneumonia. She said that she tried to power through it but had to take some days off.
She said that sitting at home for a few days had given her time to think and spend time with her dogs. Who knew she had dogs?
Hillary Clinton, who is running essentially for a third term for Obama, has a tough argument to make. And it’s hard to make much sense of it because she is arguing that the economy is good, Obamacare is good and we don’t have a problem with radical Islamic terrorism, but she is also saying that she is going to fix problems, like the fact that a lot of Americans don’t have health insurance, that they are living paycheck to paycheck and, if an illness or accident happens, they are left on their own.
She said that people being left on their own to solve the problems in their lives “goes against everything we stand for as Americans.”
She said, “Some things should be within reach for everyone, no matter what, like financial security, like affordable health care.”
She said that she wanted to bring the peace of mind to Americans that if something goes wrong your family will be OK.
She said that she wants to make it possible for every child to go to college.
She didn’t promise a chicken in every pot, but it was a short speech.
The contrast between the message of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton is drastic. Trump says we need to get the government out of the way so that people can have good jobs and Hillary Clinton says the government is going to provide for everyone. She didn’t explain why everyone doesn’t already have good health care, since Obamacare is the law of the land, or why, if the economy is doing so well, so many people don’t have good jobs and need government help.
Hillary Clinton also said that this is the most consequential vote of our lifetime, which may be true for her.
Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan was one of the warm up speakers.