President Clinton Comes To Behrend

Last Friday, April 8, a very special visitor came to Penn State Behrend, and that honored guest was none other than former President Bill Clinton. President Clinton came to speak and campaign on behalf of his wife, former Secretary of State, and current Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.

I arrived to Erie Hall around 7:45AM, with press pass in hand, ready to get the inside scoop. President Clinton was not supposed to speak until 10:15AM but that didn’t stop the excited crowd. Upon my arrival- (which was over two hours early) -there was already quite a line, and as the clock crept closet to 10:15, more and more people were flooding the sidewalks, with the final count tallying in at around 1,200 individuals, including Behrend students, staff, and the public.

As we all patiently awaited the arrived of President Clinton, the Behrend Pep Band played a myriad of upbeat songs, keeping the mood in Erie Hall at a constant level of completely stoked. After much anticipation, the festivities began.

What’s a great guest without a great introduction… or in this case, introductionS?  Chancellor Ralf Ford started it all off, followed by Brandon Hanson, the local organizer for the Hillary Clinton campaign in Erie. Hanson’s reasons for supporting Secretary Clinton were touching, deep rooted, and lead back to his family. He explained that he has two younger sisters, and wants them to, as he stated, “have access to high quality education and be whatever they want to be… including President of The United States.” Following Hanson were Mayor Joseph E. Sinnott, and Senator Bob Casey, both who spoke highly of the Clinton Administration, and all they have done to help in the past.

After much anticipation, President Bill Clinton arrived (a little later than expected, but we know he’s busy and forgive I’m for that)! President Clinton spoke about Secretary Clinton with poise, purpose, admiration and gusto, and told the packed room of Erie Hall why, as he stated, he “strongly believe[s] that [Hillary] is the most qualified to be commander in chief.”

President Clinton touched on many topics including the lack of jobs, the small business economy, minimum wage and college debt, then explained Secretary Clinton’s plan to work on these issues. President Clinton said, “There’s a big difference between talking and doing,” and he knows that the plans Secretary Clinton has designed, if elected, she will carry out, because, he said “she is the single best change maker that I’ve ever know.” 

As our time with President Clinton came to an end, he brought his speech to a close with some eye-opening words of wisdom:

“There is a point in your life where you will realize that you have more yesterdays than tomorrows… I never doubted I could make tomorrow better today,” said President Clinton. “If you want to get something done and move America forward- you’d better vote for Hillary!”

As I heard these words and looked around to my fellow reporting peers, I realized something incredible; all nine of the student reporters from Behrend were women… covering a campaign rally for a potential woman president. In this moment, I was completely liberated. Later that day, our professor/Advisor Karrie Bowen made the following comment on her Facebook page, “When [I] became a [Communication]/Media major in 1988, women were the minority in our field. Today, look at us...tomorrow's journalists and photojournalists.”

Women are making a rise in the media, in the workplace, in politics, and just in general. Only time will tell if this will be the time when the United States sees our first woman president. Whatever the outcome, I’m thankful for having the opportunity to cover this event, and for getting to hear President Clinton speak so highly of Secretary Clinton. I am excited to see what the future holds.  

Photo Credit: Sydney Sample