Bill Clinton, yes the former President, is expected to make an appearance Saturday, 3/28, in the Girardville St Patty’s Day Parade. Yes, St Patty’s Day was earlier in the month but as a testament to good old fashioned values, Girardville moved their parade so that it would not interfere with Holy Saturday.
And now you can ask–Where the hell is Girardville, PA? (http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/genInfo.php?locIndex=275805#Hist2) It’s a small town outside of Ashland in Schuylkill County. It’s population tops out at about 1,750 and the median income hovers around $23,000, almost $20,000 less than the national average. The median rent is about $234, and a mortgage around $500. From experience, it’s a nice little town.
While Sen Obama continues his cat and mouse game in the state, the Clintons are taking every opportunity to showcase Hilary’s message. One of the Clintons has made an appearance somewhere in NEPA every week since the primaries came to PA. Sen Obama meanwhile has taken a vacation and put out cryptic notices that he’ll be in the area sometime soon, probably Tuesday, and possibly anywhere. In PA there is only one candidate who wants to win and that is Sen Clinton. With the former President’s appearance on Saturday, he will add another 1,000 or more votes to the popular vote totals of his wife. That’s just the population of Girardville. Last year attendance numbered between 10,000 -15,000.
I’m no fan of the Clintons but what they are doing in NEPA is smart politics. They have shown that there is no town too small and no voter too insignificant that they can’t try to reach on a personal level. Politicians overlook places like Girardville too often and yet it is in these places where campaigns and issues are debated the most fervently. Ideas are born in these towns that later shape the direction of our nation. The people living in these towns are the “grass roots” politicians praise on the campaign trail when they weave their way through cities like Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
In the end I still can’t support Sen Clinton because of her policies. However, the very least I can do is raise a green glass of beer in late March for her efforts (through her former President husband) to reach the proverbial “grass roots” voters in Girardville and all of the other “little” towns in NEPA. (Maybe Bill and I can raise that glass together after the parade and exchange campaign buttons!)