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Clinton Visits Florida To Speak On Behalf Of Obama's Campaign

This story was written by Sarah Rogers, Central Florida Future

"Are you ready to go out and win an election in November?" Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) asked at a Democratic rally called "Change We Need" in Tampa on Monday.

"It may come down to Florida again this time, but this time it will come out right," she said.

Clinton spoke in both Kissimmee and Tampa yesterday on behalf of Barack Obama's campaign.

"There were over 500 attendees at the Kissimmee speech, but that was a community gathering. It was more intimate," said Adora Andy, a public relations spokeswoman for the Obama campaign. About 2,300 people attended the Tampa rally, Andy said.

Hundreds of supporters waited for the doors to open outside of the All People's Life Center in Tampa. Some waited up to four hours prior to the rally, Andy said.

Julien Duchais, a 21-year-old Tampa native and community blogger for my.barackobama.com, got to the rally about an hour before the doors opened.

"I'm here to support the candidate that will best reunite this country and restore the patriotism we're losing," Duchais said.

Duchais also attended the Obama rally in downtown Tampa earlier this year and said that Clinton is an important asset to the Obama campaign.

"She's making the connection for women voters through her experience and support," Duchais said.

Lakeland resident Jane Boerner agreed.

"She's providing a lot of support for Senator Obama from her supporters," Boerner said.

After an introduction by the former Tampa mayor Sandy Freedman, Clinton took the stage. Among the sea of blue Obama campaign signs were a couple of leftover signs from the Hillary campaign.

Clinton focused primarily on the state of economy, but also spoke on unequal pay for women, healthcare, Obama's proposed tax breaks and the urgency, especially in Florida, to vote.

"We're the first generation that may leave the country worse off then when we found it," Clinton added after stressing the importance of getting involved and voting. "I look around here, and I see young people who deserve so much better."

Clinton avoided talking about Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin. After dismissing a couple comments shouted from the crowd about Palin, Clinton finally responded.

"You know what? I don't think that's what this election is about," Clinton said. "This election is about the differences between us and the Republican Party."

Clinton wrapped up her speech by challenging voters to take action and reinforcing her support for Obama.

"Obama and I may have started off on two different paths, but now we're on one journey - the journey to the White House to take back this country," Clinton said.

With only 55 days left until Election Day, both candidates are focusing on the swing states, including Florida.

John McCain plans to appear in Tampa at the Convention Center on Sept. 16.

Although Obama and vice presidential candidate Joe Biden have no scheduled campaign stops in Florida, Andy said that Obama will definitely make an appearance before Election Day.

Andy said that the Obama campaign is exhorting as much time, resources and money as possible on Florida, as it has the most electoral votes of all the swing states.

"The I-4 corridor is extremely important," Andy said. "This is where the swing voters live."