Clinton mayoral rally gets small turnout

April 15, 2008 3:33:10 PM PDT
Turnout at the "100 Mayors for Hillary" rally was a little under 20 percent. Nineteen mayors of Pennsylvania cities showed up for Tuesday's rally in the Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol. Other mayors' names were listed on placards supporting Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Harrisburg Mayor Stephen Reed spoke for the group against the backdrop of a banner touting the 100 mayors. He criticized Clinton's rival, Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, for saying at a San Francisco fundraiser last week that some voters in small towns in Pennsylvania cling to guns or religion because of their frustration over their economic circumstances.

Reed called Obama's comments "divisive and condescending." "Small-town values are the bedrock of American values," Reed said.

Kathleen Strand of the Clinton campaign said rally organizers never expected all 100 mayors to attend and that some were participating in Clinton events in their home cities.

But an Obama campaign spokesman said participation in the rally is "about the same percentage of voters who actually care about this story."

"Voters are hungry to get this campaign back on who can create jobs and lower the cost of health care," said the spokesman, Sean Smith.

Also Tuesday, state Treasurer Jack Wagner endorsed Obama for the nomination, citing his reputation for bipartisanship and his campaign pledge to end the Iraq war.

"Senator Obama supports our troops in the best way, by bringing them home," said Wagner, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War who is unopposed in his bid for the Democratic nomination for a second term as treasurer.