Thousands flock to hear Bill Clinton in rural Ohio
by mgee, Tue Feb 19, 2008 at 12:18:26 PM EST
Thousands of people turned out to hear Bill Clinton speak in Marietta, Ohio Sunday night, the final stop in his Sunday tour of Ohio's rustbelt. Marietta is a small city - according to the 2000 census, the population is under 15,000 - situated in the mid-Ohio valley, not far up and across the river from Parkersburg, West Virginia - which - at 30,000 and falling - is not much bigger.
Sunday night is reserved for church services for many. Nevertheless, at least 2000 people showed up for a Solutions for America rally with Bill Clinton. More were turned away, or diverted into another setting where they could hear - but not see - President Clinton. According to one local news report, when President Clinton asked how many people knew someone without health care, everyone in the auditorium raised a hand.
People started lining up in the early afternoon even though the doors did not open until 8:00 p.m., and President Clinton did not take the stage until 9:00 p.m.
You can watch video of local news coverage of the event here. There is also a video of President Clinton's full speech.
More local coverage of the event can be found here, here [Note: on the comments on that link you'll see an Obama supporter spreading the right-wing talking points about universal healthcare on the local level. Not particularly attractive.], here [Note: the story is the same, same byline, but the comments at the bottom are different.]
Here is an interesting account of the event from a local political blog, written by an Obama supporter who "expected to hate" President Clinton, but came away feeling... well, otherwise: here.
Full audio of the event is available for download here.
And, finally from ABC News, an overview of the Sunday tour, including a discussion at the end regarding President Clinton's friendly reception in Marietta: here.
I hope you enjoy!