EL PASO, TEX. -- Hillary Clinton may have gotten swept by Barack Obama in the tonight's primaries but she received a raucous welcome in El Paso. 12,000 people filled the arena at the University of Texas at El Paso cheering loudly waiting for Clinton to take the stage. Suddenly, the lights were turned off and the sounds of U2's "Where the Streets Have No Name" played, the crowd flashed and waved their cell phones in the air and cheering enthusiastically as the she took the stage.
It was a moment rarely seen on the Clinton campaign, as most of her crowds have been in the hundreds, not the thousands, throughout this campaign. But after eight straight losses to Senator Obama, her campaign knows that her best chance to stay in this race is to win Texas and Ohio, both delegate-rich states that vote on Mar. 4.
"I can't think of any place to start our campaign in for Texas than right here in El Paso!" Clinton said.
"We're going to sweep across Texas in the next three weeks, bringing our message about what we need in America the kind of president that will be required on day one to be commander-in-chief to turn the economy around. I'm tested, I'm vetted. Let's make this happen!" Clinton said to thunderous applause.
Clinton did not mention Obama's victories in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, opting instead to continue to draw contrasts between Obama's health care plan and hers, making the case that her plan covers all Americans while his plan leaves millions out.
As Clinton concluded her remarks, she asked the crowd to come out and "stand" for her, a reference she uses when talking about caucuses because voters physically stand to be counted when they vote. Texas has a partial caucus and primary system.
"I need you here in El Paso and across Texas to stand up for me," Clinton said as the crowd cheered. "If we stand up together, if we work together, if we fight together we will take back America and we will make history together!" Confetti poured from the ceiling as Clinton ended her remarks, with the crowd chanting her name.
Clinton is expected to campaign in south Texas tomorrow in the city of McAllen, which is near the Mexican border. She will then head to Ohio later in the day.