Hilary Clinton’s first Scranton rally – live blogged!

Geography Column
Written and videoed by Nathan Mattise

In honor of the recent end to the Democratic primaries, we’re finally posting the live blog of Hilary Clinton’s first rally in Scranton on March 10. It would’ve gone up earlier…but we never got around to uploading the video. Enjoy.

3:20 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. Clinton’s line outdoors was insane. It stretched from the entrance of Scranton High School all the way back to the Scranton Expressway at times (if you’re not from the area – it’s a long distance to Route 11). The rally was scheduled for 6:30 p.m. but if you showed up after 4, good luck. Clinton spent the beginning of the day getting pizza in nearby Old Forge, the rest of us were on top of each other for three hours. Highlights from the line include some sweet Obama St. Patty’s day swag and a plethora of Clinton buttons.

6:32 p.m. Clinton enters to a one-minute-plus standing ovation, “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” and “Suddenly I See.” You could do worse than The Police and KT Tunstall I suppose. She’s joined by PA Governor Ed Rendell (I met him previously) and Scranton Mayor Chris Doherty. Right from the get-go the crowd is treated to a “next president” reference and a reminder that Clinton is a “Scranton native.” She does get the party started right however: “Can you raise the roof for someone from Scranton?”

6:38 p.m. First coal reference of the night belongs to Ed Rendell.

6:40 p.m. to 6:44 p.m. Not to be outdone, Clinton goes on a namedropping spree unrivaled by anything I’ve ever seen. In four minutes she manages to seamlessly mention: Old Forge Pizza, Rivello’s Pizza, the Dream Game, Shadowbrook, Lake Winola and the Crystal Avenue Methodist Church. Clinton also releases this gem: “My late father isn’t here in person, but he’s buried here and I bet he’s here in spirit.”

6:45 p.m. Terrible omen from Clinton when talking about her vision of the economy: “When you graduate, you come back home.” Ehhhh….

6:46 p.m. Clinton is so beloved in Scranton that it takes her a full 14 minutes before first utilizing Anti-Bush sentiments to gain applause.

6:48 p.m. First actual point made. Clinton wants to change the tax codes to prevent relief going to companies that export jobs.

6:55 p.m. Just to get an idea about how beloved Clinton is, she’s been averaging 4 to 6 applauses per minute over the last five.

7:01 p.m. “It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush left office, it’ll take another Clinton to do it now.” Another minute long ovation and Clinton is off the stage. Three hours of waiting for thirty minutes of pep rally? Perhaps. But at least she promised to come back…on the St. Patty’s Day Parade. Certainly something substantial will be discussed there.

(Links today via -Wikipedia, NYT, Scranton Times, Newsday and YouTube)

Please e-mail Nate and tell him how sad it is that he’d take the time to make notes at a political rally solely for his blog.
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