Swells of a Mariachi-tinged "Eyes of Texas" rendition welcomed New York Senator Hillary Clinton to her much-anticipated South Texas campaign stop.
A few thousand supporters gathered at St. Mary's University in the Greehey Arena Wednesday to rally for the Democractic presidential hopeful.
Clinton said she came to Texas 36 years ago to register voters who were primarily Mexican-Americans and traveled throughout the border communities. She walked around the neighborhoods surrounding the St. Mary's University community Wednesday, which are the same blocks she said she walked around then.
"I lived in San Antonio for three months and visited homes, listening to the dreams of everyone I met," she said.
She said she became addicted to Mexican food while living in San Antonio.
"I eat a lot of hot peppers because they keep me healthy and going," Clinton said. "But more importantly I eat them because they remind me of South Texas and being here is so special for me."
Clinton spoke about several issues including affordable health care, education and the war in Iraq.
She said she believes health care is a right and not a privilege.
"It is time we get you, the people of San Antonio, the same rights to health care as members of Congress have," Clinton said. "I want you to have affordable health care, and I have a plan to adhere universal health care, and my opponent does not."
Helping families better prepare their children to go to school is another issue Clinton addressed.
"I will do everything I can to make sure we have an America where the president actually listens to our teachers," Clinton said. "The college doors are closing on people, and I will do everything I can to make college affordable for everyone."
She promised to eliminate school debts to everyone who graduates from college and promises to work in public service.
St. Mary's junior Emily Gonzalez said she believes education is the most important issue and felt strongly about some of the policies Clinton promised she would enact.
"As a Hispanic female, it is really inspiring to know a woman could lead our country and do so much to help eliminate debts for students who are struggling to pay for their education," Gonzalez said. "This is an exciting time in history for women and minorities, and I am so excited to be a part of this historical moment."
Clinton said she saw an America where the new president will end the war in Iraq and bring the troops home.
"It is time for them to come home," she said. "If elected, I will meet immediately with the secretary of defense and my security advisers to draft a plan of action to start bringing our troops home in 60 days."
Clinton warned the Iraqi government and said if a man or woman serves this country, it is this country's duty to serve them back.
"I will tell the Iraqi government they no longer have Bush's blank check," she said. "And we will help all of the troops by giving them the support they deserve."
Clinton concluded her 30-minute speech by saying the new president must be a leader.
"It is a passion in my life doing everything I can to make sure every child in America will continue to be provided with the opportunity to partake in the American dream," Clinton said. "I am running because we are not living up to our promise. It is time we have a president who puts the people first again."
© 2008 Daily Texan via U-WIRE