Chelsea Clinton speaks in Alumni Hall in support of Hillary Clinton

by Alex Fredman | 11/8/16 12:45am

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Chelsea Clinton spoke to a crowd of students and community members on Friday.

by Kate Herrington / The Dartmouth Senior Staff

Last Friday, Chelsea Clinton visited the College for a “Get Out the Vote” campaign event. Around 250 students and community members gathered in Alumni Hall to watch Clinton speak on behalf of her mother’s presidential campaign.

Clinton spoke for about 20 minutes, emphasizing the high stakes of the 2016 election.

“I think this is the most important election of my lifetime,” she said. “The core values of our country are at risk.”

After thanking volunteers for their efforts and discussing the importance of electing Democrats up and down the ballot in New Hampshire, Clinton briefly turned to discuss her mother’s opponent, Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Clinton condemned Trump for “his misogynistic, sexist and hateful speech.” She told a story from a mother on the campaign trail whose child was bullied by fellow students invoking Trump’s name.

“We have to defeat [Trump’s] divisive, demeaning, derogatory rhetoric that is haunting our children,” she said. “I don’t think there’s anyone left who he hasn’t insulted.”

Clinton noted that the election is more than a referendum on the Republican nominee.

“This election has to be about both defeating Donald Trump and electing my mom,” she said.

Clinton talked extensively about her mother’s years of public service, detailing several of her mother’s initiatives, such as promoting the Children’s Health Insurance Program, supporting the victims of 9/11 and increasing the funding for Head Start.

In closing, Clinton reminded the audience of the importance of talking to family, friends, classmates and neighbors about voting. She compared not voting to letting someone else make decisions for you, like choosing classes or picking clothes. She asked the audience if they would let someone else make those decisions for them.

Charlie Blatt ’18, president of College Democrats and a student fellow with the Clinton campaign, introduced Clinton. Blatt noted the work Democrats have done on issues including LGBT rights, paid family leave and climate change. She also talked about how she volunteered for the Clinton campaign the day that she announced her candidacy.

“I am so passionate about electing Hillary Clinton as our first female president,” Blatt said.

The event occurred as public polling shows a tight race between Clinton and Trump in New Hampshire. After FBI Director James Comey announced that the FBI discovered new emails pertinent to its investigation of Clinton’s private email server, Clinton’s once-substantial polling lead in New Hampshire evaporated into a statistical tie. The RealClearPolitics polling average gives Clinton a 0.6 percentage point lead over Trump, which is well within the margin of error.

In addition to Chelsea Clinton’s speech at the College, the Clinton campaign is making a last-minute push in this state. Hillary Clinton spoke in Manchester, New Hampshire on Sunday, and President Barack Obama campaigned for Clinton on Monday at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

Additionally, public polling shows close races in both the U.S. Senate and gubernatorial elections in New Hampshire, which speak to the state’s recent history as a battleground state.

Freya Jamison ’17, a student fellow for the Clinton campaign who attended Chelsea Clinton’s speech, emphasized the significance of Dartmouth students’ votes.

“We are so lucky that we can register in the state that we go to college in — that’s not true in every state — and that we are in such a small and important state that our votes matter,” Jamison said.

In an interview, Blatt also recognized the importance of New Hampshire in presidential elections. She recalled that in the 2000 election, Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore would have defeated George W. Bush had he won New Hampshire’s four electoral votes.

“Dartmouth’s population could swing the election, so our voices really do matter,” Blatt said. “We all need to get out there and vote at Hanover High School.”