The night before: Final rally before the election
Thousands of people lined the streets of Philadelphia on Monday night as presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held one final rally before Election Day. Joining her onstage was former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton, President Barack Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama.
The city of Philadelphia shut down several streets surrounding Independence Mall, where the rally took place, at 10 a.m. Monday morning.
Throughout the day, the line of people waiting to get into Independence Mall reached more than a mile and a half long.
Mike McCarrow, a Clinton supporter from Bay Landing, N.J., attended the rally with his two granddaughters. After waiting in line for four hours, they were nearing the entrance of Independence Mall around 5:30 in the evening.
“For them to be able to see the night before the first woman president is elected is historic,” McCarrow said. “And that’s really important to them and to me.”
Once inside Independence Mall, Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen kicked off the night with special performances and regards in support of Hillary Clinton.
While Bon Jovi has been campaigning for Clinton throughout this election season, Monday night is the first time Springsteen has made an appearance on the trail. He had previously sat for an interview with Rolling Stone in which he stated his disapproval of Trump.
Both Bon Jovi and Springsteen put on acoustic performances of classic songs such as “Can’t Go Home,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” “Thunder Road” and “Dancing in the Dark.” The decidedly mellow atmosphere was peaceful yet charged — the crowd waiting expectantly for the following speakers.
“Hillary’s opponent is a man whose vision is limited to little beyond himself,” Springsteen said.
He also urged the crowd to remember Tuesday as the day when “we stood with Hillary Clinton on the right side of history and a dream of a better America.”
Springsteen then introduced Chelsea Clinton to the stage. Only speaking briefly, Chelsea Clinton recognized all the volunteers from the campaign and expressed her pride and excitement of her mother before introducing her father, former President Bill Clinton.
Bill Clinton took the stage and thanked Bon Jovi, Springsteen and all campaign volunteers. He stated this is where the country began — with people who pledged lives, fortune and honor to form a more perfect union.
“And I have watched in this campaign,” Bill Clinton said. “As our candidate lived a campaign as she has lived her life: dedicated to making changes for other people.”
He then introduced the first lady, Michelle Obama, and for the first time, the crowd broke out into wild applause. Michelle Obama took the stage and embraced Bill and Chelsea Clinton like old friends before making her way to the podium.
The first lady admitted to being emotional, because this endorsement might be one of the last beneficial things she can do for her country, she said.
“We deserve a leader who will ensure that our daughters are safe and respected,” Michelle Obama said. “And that our sons understand that truly strong men are compassionate and kind. We deserve a leader who sees the dignity and humanity in all of us.”
The first lady stated that by voting for Hillary, the public can say that this country has always been great — a place where a black girl from Chicago’s South Side can make it to the nation’s finest universities. A place where a biracial son of a single mother from Hawaii and a son of a single mother from Hope, Ark. can both make it to the White House.
She then introduced President Barack Obama with pride, love and affection.
He stressed that Trump lacks a basic understand of the world, and asks how a candidate whose campaign took away access to his twitter account can be trusted with nuclear codes.
President Obama also used the time to endorse Katie McGinty. He encouraged the crowd to vote for Democrats in down-ballot races — people, he describes, who are willing to move the country forward.
“I am betting that tomorrow, you will reject fear, you will choose hope,” President Obama said.
He then introduced Hillary Clinton with a slap of the lectern and loud applause.
Hillary Clinton took the stage in one of her signature pant suits. She spoke slowly and quietly, after almost entirely losing her voice. She began her speech by thanking everyone involved with putting the Philadelphia rally together.
She stressed that every issue we care about is on the ballot, and is at stake.
Clinton changes course by stating that she regrets the angry tone the campaign adopted, to which a supporter called out, “Not your fault!”
By closing out her speech Clinton stated that by voting for her, in a couple days or years, Americans will be able to look back and say:
“‘You voted in great numbers, to demonstrate conclusively, that once and for all, yes, love trumps hate.’”