Pennsylvania Irish – For Hillary Clinton

It’s St. Patrick’s Day. Everything is turning Green. Spring is almost here. Our March to Victory continues. April will be even sweeter.

The day after receiving the endorsements of Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl at a rally in Pittsburgh, Hillary continued her visit to the Steel City by marching in the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Enthusiastic crowds greeted her at every turn along the parade route as Pittsburghers chanted “Hill-a-ry” “Hill-a-ry.” Volunteers marched with Hillary as they made their way through downtown Pittsburgh. Enthusiastic supporters signed up to volunteer with the campaign to ensure victory right here in Pennsylvania for Hillary on April 22nd. After today’s parade and yesterday’s rally there is no doubt that western Pennsylvania truly is Clinton Country!

The March To Victory

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton transformed the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade into a blocks-long campaign rally as she was marched and waved before an almost uniformly welcoming crowd.

Mrs. Clinton was flanked by a show of her Pennsylvania support, Gov. Ed Rendell, Lt. Gov. Catherine Baker Knoll, County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, as she was cheered without interruption under a gray sky.

Chants of “Hill-a-ry, Hill-a-ry” greeted the New York senator, who sported a long green scarf over her black overcoat. While a group of enthusiasts for her opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, followed her along the sidewalks of Grant Street and the Boulevard of the Allies, the atmosphere was friendly throughout. Mrs. Clinton offered a thumbs-up gesture toward one knot of Obama partisans as she turned the corner from Grant Street.

“This is a great parade,” Mrs. Clinton said from the reviewing stand before rushing across the state for another parade date in Scranton. “May the luck of the Irish be with you all.”

Mr. Rendell described the crowd’s enthusiasm as “off the charts,” but said, “She’ll be campaigning hard for the next six weeks. Our lead is not going to stay at 18 points.”

“We really gave her a good reception,” Mr. Onorato said. “She was very pleased.”

Mrs. Clinton’s presence even drew some newcomers to Pittsburgh’s 139-year-old parade. Kevin and Jennie Bosetti, of Cecil, came to the parade for the first time, in part because of the opportunity to lay eyes on Mrs. Clinton. “We got to see Hillary,” gushed Mrs. Bosetti. “We love Hillary.” [snip]

Just over 16 percent of the state’s population claimed Irish ancestry in the 2000 Census, according to the Pennsylvania State Data Center. The Pittsburgh and Scranton regions, where Mrs. Clinton divided her campaign day, were both traditional centers for Irish immigration.

“Maybe no St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Scranton thrilled like this one.”

A crowd that organizers said was the largest in the parade’s 47-year history jammed downtown streets to greet Democratic presidential candidate and New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, who returned to the city Saturday for the second time in five days, again to adoration.

“Hillary, Hillary, Hillary,” the people who filled downtown sidewalks frequently chanted.

As Mrs. Clinton walked, dozens of people constantly rushed ahead on adjacent sidewalks to get as close to her as possible. It was less orderly than her visit Monday to Scranton High School, but the feel was the same. They cheered, they clapped, they waved at her, they shook her campaign signs, they snapped pictures with digital cameras and cell phones.

Girls screamed like when the Beatles arrived in the United States or when actor Drake Bell showed up at the Mall at Steamtown in December. Organizers said they were sure Mrs. Clinton’s presence drew the larger crowd.

I’ve never seen anything like it,” said parade day coordinator James “Bambi” Coyle, who’s been involved with parade planning for 20 years.

Mrs. Clinton dressed for the day. She wore a green blouse under her long black coat, and scarves — a bright green one that she started the parade with and a darker green one dotted with white shamrocks acquired along her march. On her lapel she sported a green carnation.

She marched with union members, starting in front of the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Union office on Wyoming Avenue under gray, cloudy skies and a chill wind. By the time she reached the end at Mulberry Street and North Washington Avenue, the clouds had lifted and the sun shone.

Mrs. Clinton walked with Mayor Chris Doherty, U.S. Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski, his wife, Nancy, and Gov. Ed Rendell. As he did two years ago when he was running for re-election, Mr. Rendell managed to get to the parade after marching in the Pittsburgh St. Patrick’s Day parade. Mrs. Clinton also marched in Pittsburgh.

Her entourage was aided by city police who carried out a moving rope line that held back the throng, who would have rushed the senator given the chance.

In front of the former Ritz Theatre, home of her local campaign office, Mrs. Clinton carried 1-year-old Molly Emma Gaffney for a short distance.

You can’t believe the support you have here,” one woman yelled.

All along the way, that was obvious.

The senator strolled toward crowds eight or nine people deep at times, moving from one side of the street to the other, She shook hundreds of hands, mugged for photographs, even signed a copy of her book. Mr. Doherty got into the act, taking cameras and shooting pictures while Mrs. Clinton cuddled up to fans.

“I love you,” Tara Meredick, 34, of Taylor, shouted before snapping Mrs. Clinton’s picture as the candidate paused.

“I love you, too,” Mrs. Clinton replied.

In the bustle near the Curry Donuts on Wyoming Avenue, Mrs. Clinton spotted Paul McGloin, a city florist and friend who tends to the grave of her father, Hugh Rodham, in the Washburn Street Cemetery.

My girl Hillary,” Mr. McGloin said later.

Obama predicts he will lose Pennsylvania by only 5 points. Let’s prove him wrong – Again.

Help Hillary win Pennsylvania – Call!

Help Hillary in Pennsylvania:

Pennsylvania Office
Hillary Clinton for President
520 North Delaware Avenue
Suite 202
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Phone: 215.625.0329
Fax: 215.625.0379

Allentown
512 Hamilton Street
Suite 103
Allentown, PA 18101

Harrisburg
308 N. 2nd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Scranton
Ritz Building
222 Wyoming Ave
Scranton, PA 18503

State College
1318 W College Ave
State College, PA 16803

Williamsport
175 W. Pine Street
Williamsport, PA 17701

Endorsements:

Today, Hillary received the endorsements of two more prominent Pennsylvania leaders, Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato and Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl.

“I am honored to have these two incredible Pennsylvania leaders in my corner,” said Senator Clinton. “Their leadership and efforts to revitalize Pittsburgh and Allegheny County are commendable. The people of this state need a plan they can count on, results that can rely on, and a champion they can depend on. I will be that President for them.”

Dan Onorato grew up on Pittsburgh’s North Side, was elected to Pittsburgh City Council in 1991, and re-elected in 1995. In 1999, he successfully ran for Allegheny County Controller and spent four years being a watchdog against wasteful spending and fraud.

“For too long this country has been adrift without the leadership or the vision we need to put us back on track,” observed Allegheny County Chief Executive Dan Onorato. “Hillary Clinton has the experience and the determination to clean up the mess in Washington and deliver results. For Allegheny County and for Pennsylvania, we need her in the White House. I am proud to support her and I’ll do whatever it takes to make Hillary Clinton the next President.”

Luke Ravenstahl, 28, was elected Mayor of Pittsburgh in November 2007, during a special election held to determine who would serve out the remaining two-year term of the late Mayor Bob O’Connor. The Pittsburgh native, who had served on City Council since 2003, holds the distinction of being the youngest mayor of any major U.S. city.

“As President, Hillary Clinton will be the steward our economy desperately needs and the Commander in Chief we know we can trust,” said Mayor Ravenstahl. “I am looking forward to partnering with Hillary when she is president to grow the Pittsburgh economy and create new, good jobs for our residents. I know the she understands the needs of people like us and I know she’ll fight for us in Washington.”

Hillary Clinton, doing what Obama has never done, Helping win Northern Ireland Peace: