It may be nearly 13 years since he left the Oval Office, but Bill Clinton can still pack an auditorium. On Wednesday, October 30, Clinton arrived at the Paramount Theater on the Downtown Mall to stump for Terry McAuliffe, the Democratic candidate for Virginia governor.
With only six days before the election, Clinton, McAuliffe and several other prominent state pols including former U.S. Congressman Tom Perriello, Delegate David Toscano, and Ralph Northam, the Dem candidate for lieutenant governor, urged those in attendance to volunteer over the next few days to help raise voter turnout.
Former UVA climatology professor Michael Mann, whose “hockey stick” graph of climate change prompted a lawsuit by Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli, further revved up the crowd.
“Ken Cuccinelli is dangerous for our researchers, he’s dangerous for our economy, and he’s dangerous for our communities,” said Mann, who introduced McAuliffe as someone who will “embrace science.”
McAuliffe stressed job creation, education and his progressive position on social issues, and received numerous rounds of applause, but it was Clinton who brought the audience to its feet at the end of the event, as he described the Virginia governor’s race as illustrative of the same fight that’s going on all over the world. “There are people that want to share the future,” he said, referring to his longtime friend McAuliffe, “and people who want to own it.”
“I need a little encouragement in light of all the garbage coming out of Washington,” said lifelong Dem David Gilbertson, who was one of hundreds of people in line for the rally with President Bill Clinton and gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe on Wednesday, October 30. “Every time I’ve heard Clinton speak, it’s always been motivational,” said Gilbertson. Photo: Courteney Stuart
“Bill Clinton is always awesome,” said Kyle Gardiner, third from left, with fellow Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy classmates, from left, Sama Ehtesham, Asasi Francois, and Kate Bondurant. Photo: Courteney Stuart
“We came here to listen to Clinton,” said Jianghong Liao, right. “He is very famous in Japan and in China.” Liao, who is from China, came to the event with friends Sumiko Sakurai and Yuko Nishiyama, who are both from Japan. Photo: Courteney Stuart
“He’s a charismatic, beautiful person,” said Lake Monticello resident Mary Boyd, left, of President Bill Clinton. She came to the Downtown Mall with fellow Fluvannan Jean DeMarco, who was delighted to have shaken hands with Clinton and been kissed on the cheek by McAuliffe. Photo: Courteney Stuart