Bill Clinton to rally voters for President Obama at the Palestra
The University received confirmation of the event Saturday evening
November 4, 2012, 10:59 pm·
About 12 hours before the polls open on Election Day, former President Bill Clinton will be rallying voters at the Palestra for President Barack Obama.
Tickets for the event are being distributed through Obama’s campaign website. Doors to the Palestra open at 4 p.m., and Clinton is scheduled to start speaking at 5 p.m.
The University received confirmation early Saturday evening that the event would be taking place, said Vice President for University Communications Stephen MacCarthy.
The Division of Public Safety will be working with the Secret Service and Obama’s team from Washington to coordinate event security, Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said. Secret Service, Penn Police, AlliedBarton officers and the Philadelphia Police will be involved in event security.
DPS has also worked with Penn Athletics, Facilities and Real Estate Services, Business Services and Risk Management in putting together the event last minute.
“Cutting contracts and liability waivers had to be in place before they could confirm they were doing it at Penn,” Rush said.
MacCarthy said the Obama campaign has rented the space and will be reimbursing Penn for all costs associated with the event.
“This is something that has been in the works for a long time,” Penn Democrats President and College junior Andrew Brown said. “We work very closely with [Obama for America] and anything they do on campus we facilitate. This is an excellent reward for the many students who have spent so many hours working to reelect the President.”
Clinton has been a popular surrogate for the Obama campaign this election cycle. He has stumped for the president in battleground states such as New Hampshire and Virginia.
It will also not be Clinton’s first time at the Palestra. On April 21, 2008, he joined then-Senator Hillary Clinton to finish her Pennsylvania primary campaign push at the Palestra. Chelsea Clinton, then-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Mayor Michael Nutter joined the Clinton family on stage.
Hillary Clinton won the 2008 Pennsylvania primary over Obama by almost 10 percentage points. The Clintons have long been popular in Pennsylvania.
DPS is using police detail from the 2008 event to prepare security for today’s event.
“We were able to look at the critique for [Hillary Clinton’s 2008] event and make sure everything’s in place,” Rush said.
Bill Clinton’s rally is one of several last-minute rallies by candidates and popular surrogates in the state. Republican nominee Mitt Romney rallied in Bucks County Sunday, on the northeast border of Philadelphia. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan led a rally outside of Harrisburg on Saturday.
Clinton himself came to Philadelphia on Oct. 1 to stump for Democratic Attorney General candidate Kathleen Kane.