SCRANTON, Pennsylvania (CNN) – The most powerful couple in Democratic politics came out to campaign with Joe Biden on Sunday - the first joint rally the Clintons have done for the Obama-Biden ticket, and the first time Bill Clinton has campaigned with either of the nominees.
Both Clintons sung the praises of the Delaware senator to a crowd of 6,000, pointing to his accomplishments in his 35-year Senate career and to his roots in this hardscrabble Pennsylvania town that has become synonymous with the blue-collar working class electorate.
“If you had a secret ballot of all the Republicans and Democrats in the Congress,” said former President Bill Clinton, “and you asked them to put two or three names down of the people in the entire Congress who know the most about the economic, political and security challenges of America and the world, his name would be on every single secret ballot.”
Missing from much of Clinton’s eight-minute introduction was Barack Obama himself, the latest in a series of lukewarm statements of support from the former president. Clinton said he would spend the rest of his life thanking those who supported his wife in the primary, and said that she had done more to support Obama than any of the other Democratic runner-ups combined.
Praise for Obama came in the last sentence of his remarks, when he said Obama is the best candidate in the race.
“If you ask yourself who has the best ideas, who’s got the best instincts, who’s got the best ability to understand these challenges, who’s got the best supporting cast, the answer is Barack Obama,” said Clinton. “And that’s why Hillary’s here, that’s why I’m here, that’s why you’re here.”
Senator Hillary Clinton made her message clear in the first minute of her remarks, saying “we must elect Barack Obama and Joe Biden on November 4th.”
“This election is too important to sit on the sidelines of history,” she said to applause from the crowd. “I haven't spend 35 years in the trenches fighting for universal health care, for children, for families, for women, for middle class people to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our nation and the hopes of our people.”
She continued to slam Republicans for the country’s economic downturn and accused them of thinking the middle class “isn’t fundamental, it’s ornamental.”
“That's why,” she continued, “sending the Republicans to solve this economic crisis is like sending the bull to clean up the china closet. They broke it and we're not buying it anymore.”
Both Sens. Clinton and Biden have roots in Scranton. Biden spent his early childhood here. Clinton’s father was born in Scranton; growing up, she spent summers in the area.
Biden stuck mostly to his stump speech, but played up those northeastern Pennsylvania roots, telling the crowd that before the speech he visited his childhood home in the Green Ridge part of town. He joked that he wasn’t sure whether “it came from this valley,” but the thing he admires most about Hillary Clinton is her lifelong fight against the abuse of power.
“One thing I find about this city is what we learned in our faith and our family. There is the one most serious abuse a man or a woman or a government can engage in, is to abuse power,” said Biden. “Everything she's devoted her life to has been on the side of people who have been on the other side of power.”
Aides say the Clintons will be more visible on the trail in the final few weeks of the campaign. President Clinton was expected at two rallies in Virginia later Sunday afternoon so he left the stage as soon as he was done speaking. Sen. Clinton will spend time in Pennsylvania, Ohio and other swing states. Biden campaigns in New Hampshire on Monday before embarking on a two day bus tour of Ohio.
Hillary, you dissappoint me. How you can support the" chosen one".
Do you think he would support you if you had stolen the nomination from him? I doubt it. Country before party !
That's right. You would not see Obama's name on that list! Hey, who is running for President here? Oh, I guess the Clintons really don't want Obama after all!
let the good times roll !!!
I have to hand it to Hillary. Do you think Obama would have ever done the same for her? No. Hillary has to do what the party expects her to do – but we don't. So, on election day I will be returning the gesture to Obama when he gave Hillary's 18 million supporters the middle finger. Anyway, the Nostradamus followers have interpreted his readings as a McCain win – the elder, the more trusted will prevail. Batten down the hatches if Obama losses because it also predicts fire spread across the land – race riots.
Your lack of support will not be forgotten Bill.This is no time to cry over your wifes loss.She lost because her team went south at the wrong time.
lets turn PA blue
Nobody has done more for the democratic party than Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Gee, Bill, thanks for your support of the Democratic ticket, I suppose. Your ringing endorsement of Biden is appreciated, but it would kind of be more helpful if you actually came out with support of the top of the ticket, dont'cha think?
Should have been Bidens and Obamas campaigning for Clinton.
Note what a freak show that was. See Bill Clinton's arms hanging down at his sides? That means that he really didn't like the people he was with (including Hillary who was standing beside him - his own wife???).
Biden? Great, they're still pissed at Obama. I love it when rats eat their own.
I feel he is doing what he needs to do. His wfe lost, I would would be piss too, however he is talking too the people now to vote for their ownjobs, gas, house, college funds on Nov 4th. You may not like obama, but can you take four more years of this? H#ll No!!!!
We try the REP way for8 years, it time for a change
With the help of the Clintons we will take Ohio and Florida and turn them blue.
Bill, We supported you from day one of your campaign, and stood on the bank at Youngstown Ohio Southern Park Mall cheering. Now you need to swallow whatever it is you are harboring, and do what you do best. Deliver to the people on Obama's behalf. Hillary worked so hard, but it wasn't to be, but it's no excuse for you to be carrying a grudge, you take away from Hillary's tremendous campaign and her fabulous intelligence. Love you both, Grandma B
Joe's speech was inspiring. My thoughts go out to Jill. It was very selfless of her to be back on the campaign trail so soon after her mother's death.
She did it again. She continues to try and tie Obama to terrorists and does not correct her crowd when they turn violent and extreme. This is what Palin and McCain want to do to America my friends...make it a place where we are afraid and suspicious of each other...they want us to make the most important decision in our lifetimes out of fear and not hope. This is their vision of America...don't let them have it. Real Americans hate facism.
Keep on hammering them Biden, do not let up for a second.
I'm disappointed in the Clintons. Stop trying to play it both ways William, get in there and start stomping on some Republican neck.
Shame on you Hillary and Bill Clinton. You two people know in your hearts who Obama really is and what he has done and what he's involved in but you go out on the stump for him.
You know in your hearts that he will ruin this country and does nort have its best interest at heart.
You both also know that you would no longer have a "party" if you did tow the line. How sad.
Hillary, you will never be president. Obama already knows that he'll make his wife the first female president in this country if he has anything to say about it.
I guess we'll find out sooner or later what it is he promised you. Wow, ambition sure is strong when you will sellout your own country.
AWESOME speech from Hillary and Biden.
She's right,..it took a democrat to clean up after Bush and it will take another democrat to clean up after this Bush. Well said!
I think it is wonderful that they can all campaign together on Barack's behalf. They know the robes and I'm sure will be a big help to his future as President. I praise Hillary for her efforts. I'm sure it's hard when you put so much into it. But she shows what great character she has by standing by the party.
GO Joe, Bill and Hill. If there was every time we needed you, it is NOW!