At their last rally, Obamas can’t wait to hand over charge to Clinton | world news | Hindustan Times
Today in New Delhi, India
Feb 21, 2018-Wednesday
-°C
New Delhi
  • Humidity
    -
  • Wind
    -

At their last rally, Obamas can’t wait to hand over charge to Clinton

You could hear Bruce Springsteen come, play and go and so did Jon Bon Jovi. People waiting in lines snaking around two blocks, or more in places, simply shrugged, looked disappointed, and went back to waiting. 

world Updated: Nov 09, 2016 06:44 IST
Yashwant Raj
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (centre) is joined on stage by first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Chelsea Clinton and former President Bill Clinton after speaking at a rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia on Monday.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (centre) is joined on stage by first lady Michelle Obama, President Barack Obama, Chelsea Clinton and former President Bill Clinton after speaking at a rally at Independence Mall in Philadelphia on Monday.(AP)

You could hear Bruce Springsteen come, play and go and so did Jon Bon Jovi. People waiting in lines snaking around two blocks, or more in places, simply shrugged, looked disappointed, and went back to waiting. Soon word spread it was time for speeches, the reason for the Monday night rally.

“Are the Obamas on?” a white woman yelled out to no one specifically.

“No, it’s Bill,” said Todd Murdock, who had happily introduced himself as gay, looking at the event streaming live on his smartphone, with his husband David Smith peering over his shoulder. Murdock was referring to Bill Clinton, the former president.

“Ask Bill to keep going,” the same woman shouted back, “he can speak forever.” He can, it’s no secret, not especially to his supporters who have known him and his family for decades.

But the woman, and most others in the line, were most keen to listen to the Obamas, who were appearing in their last campaign event as president and first lady; specially Michelle Obama.

While President Obama has seen an uptick in his popularity as he nears the end of the second term of his historic presidency as a the first Africa American president, the First Lady has never been doing better. She is hugely popular, and has emerged as one of Hillary Clinton’s most powerful surrogates, giving her campaign a line that has become their best defence against Donald Trump’s insults, “When they go low, we go high.”

Even Trump, who hasn’t spared anyone, has seemed wary of taking her on, separately. He has attacked them for spending so much time on the campaign trail for Clinton, but not the first lady.

“Bill” Clinton did hear the woman in the line, it seems, as she made it inside the venue just as he had finished introducing Michelle Obama.

And she acknowledged right away that she was feeling “emotional because, in many ways, speaking here tonight is perhaps the last and most important thing that I can do for my country as First Lady.”

As the crowd erupted, Michelle Obama continued, “And let me just take a moment to thank you, to thank the people of this country for giving our family the extraordinary honour of serving as your First Family.”

Now, it was time now for her and her husband, she said, to ensure the country was “handed over to a leader that we all can trust -- a leader who takes this job seriously, someone who is truly ready to be Commander-in-Chief on day one”.

The president, who spoke next, picked up on that theme, and called Clinton “this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother, this grandmother, this patriot”, who, he added, “will finally shatter a glass ceiling”, becoming the first woman president.

In 2008, when Clinton lost the race for the Democratic presidential ticket to Obama, she had said that while she failed to break that glass ceiling, she had left 18 million cracks in it, the number of votes she won in the primaries. And accepting the nomination in July 2016, Clinton had said “we just put the biggest crack in that glass ceiling yet”.