Meadville Tribune

Local News

November 3, 2008

Former President Bill Clinton speaks in Erie to rally last-minute support for Obama

MILLCREEK TOWNSHIP, Erie County — Bob and Sylvia Garton of Meadville were willing to wait in line for more than an hour in order to get energized for today.

“We certainly don’t need four more years of going in the wrong direction,” Bob Garton, a Democrat, said of why he wanted to hear former President Bill Clinton speak Monday afternoon on behalf of Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama.

Clinton drew an estimated crowd of 2,000 to Millcreek Intermediate School in suburban Erie.

Though they’re voting for Obama, the Gartons said there are still some voters who are undecided.

“We want to know what to say to them,” said Sylvia Garton, who along with her husband has been making phone calls on behalf of Obama.

Presidential elections are determined by three things — culture, conditions and by the candidates themselves, Clinton said.

America is a much more diverse country today that it was in 1976 when Democrat Jimmy Carter was elected president or in 1992 when he was elected to his first term, Clinton said.

Today’s economic conditions are reminiscent of when Carter and he both took office, Clinton said.

“We’re in a serious, serious condition,” Clinton said. “The economy is in a mess.”

Obama has the presence and the vision to unify the country into one community and get it back on track.

“We’ve had enough of “you’re on your own’,” Clinton said of Republican policies. “We’re going forward together.”

There are four reasons to vote for Obama for president, according to Clinton.

One is Obama has the right philosophy.

“He knows America grows from the ground up — not the top down,” Clinton said.

The second is Obama’s policies for the nation are better than Republican Party presidential nominee John McCain’s policies, according to Clinton.

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