The campaign promises that made Pittsburgh cheer for Hillary Clinton

The crowd at a Squirrel Hill high school let the Democrat know they support equal pay and family leave.

Buttons, buttons and more buttons outside Hillary Clinton's rally at Taylor Allderdice High School.

Buttons, buttons and more buttons outside Hillary Clinton's rally at Taylor Allderdice High School.

MJ Slaby

With heavy jackets, plastic ponchos and umbrellas, hundreds of people waited in the cold and rain to see Hillary Clinton speak Saturday at Taylor Allderdice High School.

Many said they attended the rally at the Squirrel Hill school to show their support for the Democratic presidential candidate 17 days before the election.

That included mother-daughter duo Jane Nespoli of Greensburg, Pa. and Amanda Minardi of Charleroi, Pa. They wore matching T-shirts that show Clinton playing a guitar while standing on a shark with a bald eagle in the background. Below are the words “nasty woman.”


“It’s all awesomeness and the impossible done at the same time, and she can do it,” Minardi said of both the fictional shark-riding Clinton and Clinton IRL.

In recent weeks, the Democratic candidate has sent a slew of surrogates to Pittsburgh, including daughter Chelsea Clinton, one-time competitor Martin O’Malley and First Lady Michelle Obama. But today, Clinton came to the city herself to campaign with her running mate, Tim Kaine.

The visit also made for back-to-back presidential candidate stops in Western Pennsylvania. Republican nominee Donald Trump held an event Friday at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, Pa.

Waiting outside the Clinton rally with friends, Sarah Galusha of Squirrel Hill said she was excited.

“This our last chance to see her before she’s president. It’ll be tougher to see her then,” Galusha said. “I want to hear more about what she plans to do and not about her opponent.”

Clinton did talk about her opponent, and it earned her big cheers from the crowd just as Trump’s talk about Clinton earned him cheers on Friday.

But from there, the two crowds picked very different topics to chant and cheer for. On Friday, Trump’s supporters applauded the return of coal jobs, repealing Obamacare and building a wall.

Clinton’s supporters did the same for equal pay for women, family leave, jobs in renewable energy and education.

According to the Clinton campaign, roughly 1,800 people were inside the gym to hear Clinton speak and about 1,200 people watched in overflow spaces. Here’s what made those in the gym cheer the loudest.

Equal pay, family leave and the first female president

Kaine took the stage first and talked about what it was like to share the Democratic National Convention stage with Clinton and their families. The vice presidential nominee said his mom told him it was “the best night of my life.”

Kaine then focused on equal pay for women and family leave, which drew cheers from the crowd.

“Isn’t it about time that a woman could be president of the United States?” he asked. The crowd answered with chants of “Hillary.”

Jobs and the economy

Clinton took several digs at Trump, saying that tax cuts for the rich don’t help the middle class and that Trump should be buying American-made steel instead of steel from China.

“We’re going to grow this economy from the middle out and the bottom up,” Clinton said to cheers.

Clinton also said she wanted to bring advanced manufacturing jobs to the U.S. The crowd cheered for this, but grew louder when Clinton talked about fighting climate change with “clean, renewable energy jobs.”

Education and Bernie Sanders

As soon as Clinton mentioned education, the crowd cheered. (It was a rally in a high school, after all.)

The cheers continued for universal Pre-K and technical education in high schools. As Clinton moved on to post-secondary education, the crowd sounded especially excited to hear the candidate’s plans for free public college tuition and to help Americans pay down college debt.

They also cheered when Clinton said she worked on the plan with her primary opponent Bernie Sanders.

Stamina and voting

Early in her speech, Clinton said she’s debated Trump for the third and last time, meaning she’s “now spent four and a half hours on stage” debating her opponent, “proving I have the stamina to be president.”

Clinton throughout her speech asked the crowd to appeal to the possible Trump voters they know.

“I understand that they need a president who cares about them, listens to them, and I want to be their president,” she said. “Anger is not a plan.”

As of Saturday, Clinton has an 87.9 percent chance of winning Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes, according to FiveThirtyEight’s polls-only forecast. She’s also leading the polls in Pennsylvania with an average of 46.4 percent to Trump’s average of 40.2 percent, according to USA Today’s poll tracker, powered by Real Clear Politics.

Clinton also urged those gathered in front of her to vote, a plea the crowd answered by cheering and stomping on the bleachers.

“When your children and grandchildren ask what you did in 2016 when everything was on the line, I hope you’ll say ‘I voted for a better America.'”