U.S. Senator and Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton took a break from her campaigning in Iowa to rally the troops and raise some quick campaign cash here in St. Louis Sunday.
Clinton was introduced at The Pageant by former St. Louis Congressman and House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, who wasted no time making the case, as he sees it, for why the country needs a change in the White House.
“This president we have now is the worst in president in the history of the country,” said Gephardt.
Gephardt also took a subtle shot at Senator Barack Obama, who has a slight lead on Clinton in the latest Iowa polls. “What we need most now is somebody that doesn’t need on-the-job training,” said the former south St. Louis representative.
In her speech, Clinton proposed opening the same health plan offered to members of Congress to all Americans. She also promised to bring the troops home from Iraq “as quickly and as responsibly as we possibly can” and to end Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” education plan, which Clinton called an unfunded mandate.
Clinton delivered her speech in front of bleachers full of supporters, including local preachers B.T. Rice and Earl Nance. As far as we could tell, the only current elected officials in attendance were State Reps Rachel Storch and Ester Haywood.
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, who has endorsed Clinton, did not attend the event. Protesters threatened to picket the event if he showed up. However, his chief of staff, Jeff Rainford, was in the audience.