Yesterday my reporting took me to the Western Pennsylvania community of Millvale. Millvale lies only minutes from the heart of Pittsburgh, but its distance across the Allegheny River makes this compact former industrial town feel much farther away.
The big issue in town is flooding, which has contributed to pervasive job loss. Local officials present said Senator Clinton understood the needs of a small town like this more than her opponent, Mr. Obama.
Bill Clinton showed up for a campaign event at the old St. Ann’s Church. It looks like one of the many proud old Catholic and Orthodox churches that dot this area, but is now a night club, Mr. Smalls Funhouse, owned by members of the jam band Rusted Root. The church is now a club because the area’s dwindling population has meant the consolidation of parishes.
Clinton spoke for just over ten minutes. His was a classic political stump speech. “If you’re hearing somebody say you better quit because you can’t win, it’s because they’re afraid you will win,” he said.
After the crowd poured out of the church, onlookers lined up along the hilly street adjacent to it to catch a glimpse of him leaving. He exited wearing glasses but quickly took them off when he noticed there was such a large crowd waiting. He gave them the classic Clinton, bit lip and thumbs up. Then before he got in his vehicle he crossed the street to hug 85-year-old May Mayhugh, standing out on her porch. Mayhugh who had just gotten out of the hospital.
“I have prospered under Bill Clinton, and I’ll be happy to have another Clinton in the White House,” Millvale’s mayor, Vincent Cinski, said after Clinton had departed.
It’s important to point out that despite the economic plight of Millvale, it has a branch of the fabulous Pittsburgh chain of diners, Pamela’s, famous for the breakfast and pancakes. But due to the observance of Passover, I have no report on this PA food find today.