By The Raleigh Telegram
RALEIGH – Former President Bill Clinton once again drew a large crowd in Raleigh when he visited on Sunday to campaign for President Barack Obama.
According to estimates from the City of Raleigh, there were over 4,000 people gathered to hear the popular politician speak at Pullen Park near downtown Raleigh during late Sunday afternoon.
Democrat Party luminaries from across the state were also in attendance including former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt (looking through curtain in photos below), US Senator Kay Hagan, former NC Secretary of State Rufus Edmisten, Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton, and of course, North Carolina Governor Bev Perdue.
Also present was Raleigh Mayor Nancy McFarlane, who endorsed President Obama earlier this year.
During his wife’s run for office in 2008, Bill Clinton visited Raleigh and several places in the Triangle, drawing huge crowds. The crowds this year were just as large, but Clinton was stumping for President Obama this time.
Senator Kay Hagan and former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt warmed up the crowd for Clinton, who also was campaigning in Virginia the same day.
“Bill Clinton was one of America’s great governors when I first met him as a friend,” said former Governor Hunt, who mentioned Clinton’s work on behalf of education and keep student loans available. “I present to you a great friend and a great champion of North Carolina, President Bill Clinton.”
Hunt also praised President Clinton’s wife. “Hilary is the best Secretary of State in the history of America.”
With a large American flag in the background and hundreds of phones capturing video, President Clinton took the stage and addressed the crowd.
Clinton praised Hunt saying he was one of the “best governors over the last 50 years.”
He also thanked the St. Augustine College marching band for the music beforehand.
“I tell you it’s hard to do in cold weather,” he joked about playing music.
Clinton urged those in the crowd who had not yet voted to do so on election day.
“The hour is late, but you can still make a difference in this election,” he told the crowd. “We had a pretty good convention here not long ago and I had the honor to speak and make the case for President Obama.”
“I think it was just as important that he win this election than the first time,” he said, who mentioned President Obama’s recent work in the northeast in response to Hurricane Sandy.
Clinton said that success in the Raleigh area included the industry seen in the Research Triangle, where business, the university system, and government worked together to create a high tech research campus.
“People came together,” he said, adding that Obama is trying to cross the political divide.
He slammed the Tea Party in his speech for being divisive and said that was the opposite of what he believed voters needed.
“They say it’s our way or the highway, we’re right all the time,” he said. “…If you want cooperation over conflict…you have to elect President Obama.”
Clinton also praised Obama’s foreign policy work.
“He has been a good Commander In Chief,” Clinton said. “He has ended the war in Iraq and is bringing the troops home from Afghanistan.”
“And he’s got a heck of a Secretary of State,” joked President Clinton, alluding to his wife.
He said that it was important not to change leadership at this point.
“Are things coming together or do you want them torn apart?” he asked.
The President spoke for around 40 minutes to the crowd, who cheered him when he left the podium. The full video of President Clinton’s speech and the speakers beforehand are below on this page. ::
Article Posted: Tuesday, November 6th, 2012.
PHOTOS: ANDY MARTIN, RALEIGH TELEGRAM