Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will debate yet again in Philadelphia as the race to become the Democratic nominee for this year’s election continues.
The April 16 debate will be held at the National Constitution Center. ABC will broadcast the debate live, likely with Charles Gibson as the moderator.
With Clinton and Obama vying for Pennsylvania’s 158 pledged delegates, they and their camps are traveling throughout the state trying to pick up votes. The Pennsylvania primary is April 22.
Obama’s wife Michelle visited Abington Senior High School and Villanova University last Thursday. According to Obama’s official Web site, it was Michelle Obama’s first campaign visit to Pennsylvania.
Clinton held a “Solutions for America” rally at Temple last Tuesday. Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter joined the senator on stage. They both have endorsed the senator.
At the rally, Nutter said that Clinton’s experience gives her an important edge.
“This is an experience job. [If] you want to run for mayor, for governor or for president, you need experience,” Nutter said.
Clinton emphasized that she would expand Pell Grants and freeze tuition rates for incoming students. She also said that she would start withdrawing troops from Iraq within 60 days if she was elected to the presidency.
“It took a Clinton to clean up after the first Bush, and it’ll take a Clinton to clean up after the second one,” Clinton said.
It is rumored that Obama will make an appearance at Temple this week. A source in the athletic department said that Obama will be speaking at McGonigle Hall on Wednesday.
Ray Betzner, director of university relations, couldn’t confirm the rumor but said, “I would be surprised if we didn’t see him on campus in the next six weeks.”
In a conference call with reporters, Rendell said that Clinton can win Pennsylvania and the presidency.
“This is not a solid blue state,” Rendell said. “This is a purple state, and we need a candidate who can win this state, and that candidate is Hillary Clinton.”
He added that Pennsylvania is a test of a candidate’s national appeal because of the state’s diversity, with a lot of rural areas and a Midwestern tinge in the western area of the state, and an East Coast mentality in the Philadelphia region.
The Philadelphia Inquirer endorsed Obama in January. The paper said that Obama inspires people to action.
According to the Inquirer, “Barack Obama is the best Democrat to lead this nation past the nasty, partisan, Washington-as-usual politics that have blocked consensus on Iraq; politics that never blinked at the greedy, subprime mortgage schemes that could spawn a recession; politics that have greatly diminished our country’s stature in the world.”
A group of scientific organizations are trying to get Obama and Clinton to participate in a debate at the Franklin Institute on April 18. The debate would be over issues in science. Neither candidate has responded to the invitation.
LeAnne Matlach can be reached at email@example.com.