Chelsea Clinton appears on Midway

Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination took center stage as her daughter Chelsea appeared on Midway this past Monday.

In preparation for the primary, and in order to increase Senator Clinton’s youth appeal, Chelsea began a nationwide bus tour at Carnegie Mellon by moderating a question-and-answer session.

At 6 p.m., Chelsea and her crew took the stage in a fairly full tent, but the audience was very small compared to the crowd that later came out to see the Human Giant show. Jehmu Green, former president of MTV’s Rock the Vote, took the stage first.

“[I have come to] replace what my home state of Texas brought upon us — sorry,” he said, referencing current President George W. Bush.

Donning a youthful blazer, jeans, and sneakers, Sean Astin, the actor who played Samwise in The Lord of the Rings series, expressed his support for Hillary.

“Less than 1 percent separates Hillary and Obama and there are millions more votes to be cast,” Astin said.

After the young men and women of two college bands, The FourSix and Tennessee Whiskey, and the famous faces that pitched for Hillary had spoken in favor of the candidate, Chelsea took the stage in order to begin a speech and question-and-answer session.

During the speech, a heavy emphasis was put on universal health care coverage and a public school system that would both begin earlier and be strengthened.

When speaking of health care, Chelsea mentioned the issue’s personal importance to her.
“It really matters to me that my mom stood up for health care rights before it was fashionable, and she is still standing up for universal health care.... She still kept working to expand health care coverage and the quality of health care in our country,” Chelsea said.

Chelsea brought up how much action has already taken place as a result of Hillary’s initiatives.

“Out of that effort came the children’s health program, which now covers 6 million kids in our country ... more than 140,000 of whom are from Pennsylvania and that really matters to me,” Chelsea said.

The emphasis on universal health care became apparent when Chelsea’s answers to most questions came back to the topic; she repeatedly explained or referenced Hillary’s commitment to expanding public heath coverage.

Chelsea gave the impression that health care is an issue Hillary wants college students to understand.

Emily Hawkins, the director of the Young Voter outreach campaign for Hillary, addressed other issues important to the candidate.

“Young people are excited about Hillary Clinton because she has policies on making college more affordable, global warming, and universal health care. She addresses issues that young people are thinking about,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins also positively addressed the campaign involvement at Carnegie Mellon, given that in 2002 the university was ranked the number-one most politically apathetic school in The Princeton Review.

“We’ve seen record engagement from young voters and I don’t think young people in Pittsburgh have a history of civic engagement,” Hawkins said.

The students at the rally were very excited to see Chelsea speak.

For some Hillary fans, it was a needed sign of publicity and support for the Clinton campaign on campus.

Kendra Lee, a first-year dramaturgy major, expressed her apprehension of being a Clinton supporter on campus.

“If someone asks who I support, I don’t really go on about it unless I have an idea of how they feel,” Lee said.

However, Lee noted that although campus involvement in the Clinton campaign does not compare with Carnegie Mellon Students for Barack Obama, the campus remains politically open.

“When I say [I favor] Hillary, it is not like people are outright mean,” she said.

Chelsea is just one in the surge of political speakers for different candidates, a trend which may prove to diminish the university’s reputation of political apathy.