More people than expected showed up to see President Bill Clinton speak at the University of OregonMonday evening.On an Oregon tour that brought Clinton to the EMU after visiting Corvallis, the former president arrived behind schedule, while between 2,300 and 3,200 people waited for the chance to hear him campaign for Sen. Hillary Clinton.Bill Clinton was scheduled to speak at 8:15 p.m., but took the stage in the EMU Amphitheater at 9:40 p.m. and spoke until 10:45 p.m. Clinton was introduced by State Sen. Vicki Walker, who said her daughter was once told that she could never be president because Americans would never elect a woman to be commander-in-chief."Yes a woman can and will be president of the United States," she said.Many students said they attended the event for the chance to see the former president, while others were still undecided about who they would vote for in the Oregon primaries May 20.Junior Jeff Simpson attended both Sen. Barack Obama's rally last Friday and Clinton's speech. Simpson said he appreciated that Clinton spoke about the changes Hillary Clinton will make in office."He's talking about the difference Hillary's going to make," he said. "Obama didn't lay it out."Simpson remained undecided after Clinton's speech.Clinton told the crowd, "I hope you are glad that you're going to have a vote and a voice in this election."Braden Noyes, a senior majoring in Japanese and multimedia design, said he had also attended both rallies."I had never been interested in politics before," he said. Noyes, a Republican, said, "I foresee the Democrats will get my vote in the fall."Clinton spent a good portion of his speech discussing green technology and climate change, as well as college debt and health care.Lane Community College student Paul Sawala came to hear Clinton's remarks about health care."I'm interested in health care because health care is so expensive here in America, and in other countries it's free."Clinton said, "You will never get control of costs until you cover everybody" and that the "morally right" thing to do is "join the rest of the world" in providing health care to citizens. Hillary Clinton's plan would allow Americans to buy into the same plan that covers members of Congress and prevent coverage from being denied.Senior Darel Harwell came to see Clinton because "Bill Clinton rocks the socks." Harwell said he's an independent who's "tired of the current administration."He appreciated that Clinton went into detail about the policies and issues."I like her stance on making health care more affordable," he said. "I like the fact that he stayed as long as he did to meet and greet and (he stayed) until almost everyone had left the area."Junior Erica Laing was excited to get the chance to see Bill Clinton in person, even though she had already cast her vote for Hillary Clinton before the rally."I'm mostly in shock," she said after the speech. "We got so close to him, four rows from this guy. He's my idol."Laing said she was able to touch the former president."When he was president I supported him a lot, mostly because my parents did. Once Bush came to office, I saw how much things changed," she said before the speech.Clinton spoke of government reforms that Hillary Clinton plans to make, such as capping credit card interest rates, changing government policy on how much say states have over liquefied natural gas pipelines and supporting Sen. Ron Wyden's bill to restore county timber payments for six years.He also discussed the home mortgage crisis and Hillary Clinton's plan to end the No Child Left Behind Act.He said there was one area where Hillary Clinton is more conservative than Republicans currently in office."She liked the balanced budget and the surpluses," he said, referring to his term in office.Maria Purice, a staunch Hillary Clinton supporter, said although many have suggested that Hillary Clinton won't seure the nomination as more superdelegates switch to supporting Obama, "I'm still supporting her to the end.""I've waited for Hillary to run for president since I was a little girl," she said.Clinton was interrupted early in his speech by an Obama supporter, to which he replied, "I don't believe anybody who supports Hillary ever interrupts his rallies."In his only reference to recent commentary on Hillary Clinton's chances of winning, Clinton said, "Whatever happens, we're going to unite the Democratic party this November."Senior John Faciane said, "Everyone, regardless of their party, knows that a change is going to happen and that a change needs to happen."I think there's a lot of hope out there."
This story was written by Jill Aho, Oregon Daily Emerald