Former President Bill Clinton traveled to Montgomery County on Monday afternoon, seeking to rally supporters of President Barack Obama less than 24 hours before polls open in a state that was once regarded as solidly in the President's column.
Clinton, arguably the speaking star of the Democratic National Convention last summer, was on a tour of the state that was scheduled to take him to Pittsburgh, Blue Bell, and Philadelphia the day after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney rallied supporters in Bucks County.
An estimated 5,000 to 6,000 people, many shivering and standing close together for warmth, clustered into a grassy area outside the gymnasium of Montgomery County Community College.
"You're just standing out here in the cold. He's criss-crossed this nation," Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz said in introducing the president.
Ascending the dais to Jackie Wilson's "Higher and Higher," Clinton greeted the crowd, acknowledged local Democratic luminaries in attendance, and launched into his characteristically folksy oratory. He spoke for about 20 minutes.
"There are going to be a lot of important decisions in the next four years," Clinton said. "I want Barack Obama to be the 'Decider in Chief,'" invoking a description of the Presidency coined by Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush.
He credited Obama with "saving the U.S. auto industry" and said Romney had mischaracterized the auto bailout as an effort to export American jobs overseas.
"Who wants a president who will knowingly and repeatedly tell you something you know is not true?" Clinton asked, his voice occasionally becoming hoarse in the cold.
"When Governor Romney gets his hand caught in the cookie jar, he just digs down for more cookies," Clinton said.
Clinton was preceded at the rostrum by Schwartz, 6th District Congressional candidate Manan Trivedi, 8th District Congressional Candidate Kathy Boockvar, and Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro.