Hillary Clinton spoke to an enthusiastic crowd of supporters about 5:30 p.m. today at Philander Smith College. Her remarks tracked some familiar themes — equal pay for equal work, help for students to pay the rising cost of higher education, restoration of the voting rights act, automatic voter registration for 18-year-olds. She invoked her Methodism at Philander, a Methodist supported school. Works matter, the good Wesleyan said. And she also said at the historically black school, “Black Lives Matter.”
More to come later, including photos from Brian Chilson.
After the appearance — styled as a grassroots organizing event — Clinton was to go to a reception for donors at the Edgehill home of long-time friends Kaki Hockersmith and Max Mehlburger. $2,700 contributions — the federal limit — were asked of attendees. 100 or so were in attendance.
Kaya Herron was on hand for Clinton’s talk at Philander:
Democratic Party Chair Vince Insalaco and Rep. Eddie Armstrong of North Little Rock warmed up the crowd, along with the Philander Smith drum line and College Student Government President Tanisha Manning and College President Roderick L. Smother.
Clinton said Arkansas held many memories for her., “When I’m president Arkansas will always be on my mind.”
She said the country does better with a Democrat in office, noting favorably two in the last 35 years — Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
They each inherited a heap of problems, she said and cleaned up their predecessors’ messes while improving the lives of all Americans. Bill Clinton ended up with a balanced budget and a surplus after years of a declining economy and a deficit similar to the one Obama faced in 2008.
“Look at the mess we were in when Obama was elected, we were losing 800,000 jobs a month…and now Republicans want us to have collective amnesia.”
Clinton said President Obama doesn’t get the credit he deserves for saving our economy, but also noted that while jobs have come back, wages haven’t gone up to meet the rising costs of everything from college tuition to prescription medications.
In addition to increasing incomes and continuing health care advances, Clinton spoke of social and racial justice, including police brutality.
“We have some work to do when it comes to racial justice. We should all say loudly and clearly that Black Lives Matter.”
Clinton applauded the work being done by the younger generation to end these practices and wants to be a part of the inspiration to continue the change.
“As a United Methodist I do believe works matter. We believe in grace and its saving power and we are called upon to demonstrate grace. In our country we need to quit talking, hurling insults and attacks at each other while listening to hateful rhetoric and start fighting to solve the problems we are facing. Not one plan was proposed by one of the 15 Republican candidates in over five hours of debate,” said Clinton.