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Hugh Rodham campaigns for Clinton in Rostraver

| Thursday, April 17, 2008

ROSTRAVER TOWNSHIP - Even though he arrived in grand style with a fire department escort, few people at a rally to support Sen. Hillary Clinton could pick her brother out of the crowd.

But once Hugh Rodham took the makeshift stage at Cedar Creek Park, the small but enthusiastic crowd soaked up the sun and listened intently as he stumped for his sister, the New York senator who is seeking the Democratic nod for president.

About 65 people greeted Rodham, 57, at a pavilion in Cedar Creek Park.

Although Rodham never mentioned her opponent, by name, it was clear he was alluding to remarks Illinois Sen. Barack Obama made about Pennsylvania's working class.

"We need someone who looks up to the working man, not down their nose at them," said Rodham, a Florida attorney.

Rodham told stories of his childhood in Scranton and said his family still vacations at a cottage their grandfather built in Wyoming County.

"Pennsylvania has once again stood up for our family," Rodham said. "Pennsylvania runs as deep in our family as the coal that runs underneath this stage."

Rodham said his sister has the most experience for the job, adding he is proud of the courage his "5-foot-tall" sister has showed when taking on both opponents and the media.

"She's still standing strong," Rodham said.

Several Clinton supporters at the rally agreed she is the one for the country's top job.

"I have supported her from the get-go," said Ruth Ann Zupan, of Rostraver Township, who works as director of the community library. "She's brilliant. She's savvy."

Longtime World Kitchen employee Camille Indof, of Rostraver Township, said she believes Clinton "has the experience and will do the job."

"The fact that she is qualified puts her above the rest," said Indof, holding a Clinton for president sign.

Bob Clingensmith made the trip from Irwin to listen to the former first lady's brother.

"For me, it comes down to experience," Clingensmith said. "And she has the most."

Rostraver Township Commissioner Nick Lorenzo Jr. introduced Rodham. Township Supervisor Tom Patterson, state Rep. Ted Harhai, D-Monessen, and North Belle Vernon Mayor Ed Lyons also attended.

Lorenzo praised the Rostraver Democratic Committee, which helped organize the rally in just four days. The Rostraver Democrat Club organized the fire truck parade that escorted Rodham to the park.

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