Clinton on the economy

Larry Eichel reports

11:12 a.m. 

All of this is possible, she says as she closes. "It is a question of leadership." 

11:09 a.m. 

She runs through the specifics of her plan, which we listed earlier, and asks: "How can you tell a family that's about to lose its home, there's nothing we can do to help them?" 

11:00 a.m. 

She says, "Our housing crisis is at heart an American dream crisis. She talks about what the Federal Reserve Bank did to prevent the failure of Bear Stearns last week and says, "Homeowners, on the other hand, have received next to no assistance." 

10:50 a.m. 

She cays that the economic crisis is at its core a housing crisis; hence, her focus on it. She says the mortgage crisis inordinately impacts communities of color.

"Ultimately the true currency of today's economy is confidence," she says. "So we need a president who can restore our confidence...We need a president who is ready on Day One to be commander-in-chief of our economy." 

10:43 a.m. 

Clinton begins her speech with a reference to the 4,000th death in Iraq over the weekend and reiterates her pledge to bring the troops home. From there, she talks of a "crisis of confidence in Iraq" and a "crisis of confidence in our economy."

10:35 a.m. 

The candidate has finally arrived, accompanied by Rendell, Mayor Nutter and U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz. 

10:24 a.m. 

This is an invitation-only event held in a room with about 200 seats. A lot of the seats are occupied by Penn students and faculty. Among the notables here are Gov. Rendell, Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, and former Montgomery County U.S. Rep. Marjorie Margolies. 

10:05 A.M.

The speech is going to focus on the housing crisis. It includes a four-point plan to stem the tide of home foreclosures. Clinton has announced some of these things before.

She'd use the Federal Housing Administration to guarantee restructured mortages, set up an emergency working group to investigate how to restructure at-risk mortgages, clarify the legal liability of mortgage services to encourage them to modify existing mortgages, and create a new stimulus package of at Least $30 billion to help states and local communities to deal with the impact of foreclosures. 

In a few minutes, Hillary Clinton will be giving a speech on the economy at the University of Pennsylvania. In keeping with the way this campaign has operated, the Obama campaign has responded to the speech even before its delivery.

David Plouffe, Obama's campaign manager, has already held a conference call to say that the speech is full of "repackaged idea." In addition, he stressed a familiar campaign theme, that what matters is the ability to convert ideas into action. And on that score, Plouffe said, Clinton represents the status quo and Obama represents change. Plouffe's point was that Clinton has taken money from lobbyists and political action committees and Obama has not.

Said Plouffe, there's no shortage of good ideas but "special interest influence in Washington has prevented good ideas from happening." He called that "a fundamental divide" between the candidates.