The Inquirer's Robert Moran reports:
Clinton winds up her remarks saying her plan is to be president "from Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico," drawing cheers from the audience. She departs, shaking hands, making eye contact, gradually making her way out.
Mayor Nutter wasn't visible during the event, but State Rep. Angel Cruz was there.
Basically, the event was a short and simple group hug.
Hillary Clinton is introduced, begins speaking. She says that this school reflects how "it takes a village to raise a child" -- a reference not just to a famous phrase but the title of her 1996 book, It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us. Seven hundred students, she said, were watching now on closed-circuit TV.
The country needs to "provide support to faith-based organizations" like Esperanza, she says. Clinton says she favors universal prekindergarten and other measures to cut dropout rates. Reducing crime, increasing poilce and making college more affordable are also goals she favors.
In Scripture, it says, "faith without works is dead," and she's been around enough to know that "works without faith is just too hard," she says.
After a prayer by a clergyman, the Rev. Luis Cortes, president and CEO of the Esperanza Academy Charter School, delivers the opening remarks, saying that over the years Clinton has endured unfair personal attacks. "She has always carried herself with dignity," he says. Gov. Rendell, who arrived a little while ago, is sitting in the front row.
The wait continues. Clinton, Rendell and Nutter still haven't showed, though the media sure have, including news crews who travel with Clinton as well as some members of Spanish-language media. State Sen.Christine Tartaglione and State Rep. Tony Payton are a couple of the local Democrats in attendance. People were asked to move up to fill the seats up front, since the auditorium is only about two-thirds full. In the audience and on the stage are about 15 teenagers, perhaps students at the school.
"Get Out the Vote" fliers are lifted off some of the 200 or so folding chairs by adults starting to fill a small auditorium at Esperanza Academy Charter School in Hunting Park. On one side the message is in Spanish. On the other it's in English: "Pennsylvania needs a president who stands up for us." The suggested president is Hillary Clinton, who is yet to arrive. Gov. Rendell and Mayor Nutter are also expected to lend their voices of support at the meeting, scheduled to start at 8:30.