Stronger Together: Hillary Clinton Holds Rally at Temple University Following DNC
With the conclusion of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center, Hillary Clinton and Tim Kaine began their cross-country tour to appeal to voters before the November elections. The very first stop on their tour happened on July 29th at Temple’s McGonigle Hall.
The recreation center first opened in 1969 and has a capacity of about 3,900 people. The seats were packed, along with standing room on the floor and both upper level walkways for the Clinton rally. The event was advertised as taking place from noon until 1PM. After the Pledge of Allegiance, a “USA” chant, and an excellent performance of the Star Spangled Banner by Philadelphia’s Bobby Hill, several speakers opened the rally to prepare the crowd for the 2016 Democratic ticket.
Speakers included Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who “want[ed] to thank every single police officer in the city of Philadelphia.” He also referred to Philadelphia was a “world-city” and a “tough city” that needs a “tough President like Hillary Clinton.”
Following Kenney were Attorney General hopeful Josh Shapiro and U.S. Senate hopeful Kathleen McGinty. Shapiro said he was looking forward to working with Clinton with plans to help students, protect women’s rights to choose, and support the LGBTQ community. One of his closing statements was, “Hillary Clinton is cool!”
McGinty was energetic throughout the entirety of the event. In addition to “Help [her] send Pat Toomey packing,” she also said, “We’re going to stare the NRA down,” and “Nobody’s more politics than Hillary Clinton!”
After some “Stump Trump” chanting and another quick speech, the crowd was ready for their candidates to take the stage. The Clintons and the Kaines were supposed to take the stage at 12:15PM and the crowd soon grew restless was they waited for them to appear. During this longer-than-expected intermission, the crowd successfully executed a “wave” that circled the venue six times.
With the rally-goers becoming impatient, a “Hillary” chant began at 12:37 PM. That was not enough to provoke an entrance by the Presidential nominee. Countless up-beat songs blasted from the speakers, and as each song ended, the crowd started cheering, believing that they have heard the final song before welcoming the Democratic nominees. Song after song started and ended, but still no entrance from the candidates.
Finally, at 1:11 PM, eleven minutes after the crowd thought they would be leaving McGonigle Hall, Senator Bob Casey takes the stage to announce Clinton, Kaine, and their spouses. A few minutes later, Hillary and Bill Clinton revealed themselves along with Tim and Anne Kaine. The song they entered to was “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye.
Tim Kaine began speaking at 1:15 PM, comparing Pennsylvania to his state of Virginia because they were both “commonwealths” and that means that “We are stronger together.” Only two minutes into his speech, a “Hillary” chant breaks out. Kaine was the first person to mention the name Donald Trump in more than an hour, after which the crowd booed loudly. As potential-VP Kaine began speaking about Sec. Clinton’s honesty, a man from the crowd called out, “We trust Hillary,” and the crowd erupted in applause and another “USA” chant.
Hillary stepped to the podium at 1:27 PM, but the cheering was too loud for her to begin speaking for another two minutes. She started her speech by giving her support to Shapiro and McGinty in their own electoral races. Clinton urged the crowd to, “Think about what happened here [in Philadelphia] 240 years ago. Think about our founders.” She said that she wants to build on the government that was created in this city in the 1700s.
Clinton gave a shout-out to her husband Bill, who received a large ovation, with the crowd loudly celebrating his presence for almost a minute. One of her closing remarks of the afternoon was: “I believe, unlike Donald Trump, that when we knock down a barrier in America, it liberates everyone in America.” Her speech ended at 1:43 PM.
As the Clintons and Kaines walked off stage to shake the hands of the people at the rally, Marvin Gayes “Ain’t No Mountain” played once more.
The crowd was slow to exit Temple’s recreation center, but former-Governor Ed Rendell managed to slip out undetected to call for a taxi before even a handful of people had left the rally. Before getting catching his ride home, he was happy to take pictures with a few individuals who approached him.
Broad Street was congested for the next hour after the post-convention rally had ended. 15th Street was blocked-off by police cars, and it appeared that many travelers were driving in circles before finding a proper way out of the traffic jam.
The rally seemed to excite many of the Democratic supporters in attendance, and the Secret Service and Philadelphia Police Department did a good job of ensuring that no violence took place around the perimeter of the rally. No protesters were spotted around McGonigle Hall or the surrounding blocks of Temple’s campus.