Political pros will tell you that any campaign’s most valuable asset is the candidate’s time, so it should be spent wisely.
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spent some of her time talking to about 300 young people at Temple University — one measure of her campaign’s focus on getting millennials engaged and enthused in this election.
I got to Mitten Hall plenty early for the speech, so I wandered around campus a bit to talk to some students.
All but one of those I spoke to was registered to vote. All were following the presidential campaign, and most were pretty bummed by what they see.
“I’m not happy about it,” said Tyler Drey of the Pottstown area. “I think we all made a mistake on electing the two people that we elected for the nominations.”
Like a lot of students, Drey supported Bernie Sanders and has a hard time warming to Clinton.
“She’s dishonest,” he said. “I don’t know, she just doesn’t connect with people. And when she does connect, is just her trying for votes.”
Clinton takes it on
In her speech, Clinton talked about how she and Sanders had worked together on a college affordability plan. When she said Sanders’ name, a “whoop” rose from the crowd.
She directly addressed the question of her appeal among young voters.
“I know that even if you are totally opposed to Donald Trump, you may still have some questions about me,” Clinton said. “I get that. And I want to do my best to answer those questions.”
Clinton said she’ll never be the showman Trump is, and that’s OK with her, provoking boisterous cheers. (It’s still striking to me that both presidential candidates get their biggest crowd reactions when they’re talking about each other.)
“And it’s also true I spent a lot of time on details of policy,” Clinton continued, “like the precise interest rate on student loans right down to the decimal point. because it’s not a detail for you. It’s a big deal, and it should be a big deal for your president.”
Clinton said, if she’s in the White House, “Young people will always have a seat at any table where any decision is being made.”
Clinton has work to do with this voting group, but even those I spoke to who were skeptical of her, including Tyler Drey, said they’d vote for her anyway to defeat Trump.
And some are enthusiastically on board.
“I think Hillary Clinton is really smart,” said education major Brooke Mulroy, “and she’ll carry our country really smoothly, and it will kind of feel like it is now with Obama as president.”
Trump will be in the area Thursday for a fundraiser in Philadelphia and a rally in Delaware County.