Nashville’s historic Fisk University hosted Hillary Clinton, the Democratic front-runner in the 2016 Presidential race, for a public campaign event on Friday, November 20. Mrs. Clinton was the United States Secretary of State (2009 to 2013), US Senator from New York (2001 to 2009), and First Lady of the United States (1993 to 2001). Mrs. Clinton shared her vision for America with well over a thousand students and supporters listening inside the Henderson A. Johnson Gymnasium and about five hundred more listening outside.
Clinton briefly addressed the overflow crowd before entering the gymnasium for the event, saying “Thank you so much for coming and for being part of this; and let’s go win, OK!”
Fisk SGA President Brianna Herman welcomed the candidate and Nashville Mayor Megan Barry set the stage for her.
“We know how important the federal government is and the crucial role they play in urban cities,” mayor Barry said. “And I know that Hillary Clinton will be a president who gets it!”
Congressman Jim Cooper introduced the candidate.
“You’re about to hear history tonight,” Cooper said. “It’s going to be your voice and your vote that makes history in the next election.” Like Barry, Clinton would become the first woman in history to hold the office she is seeking.
After a warm enthusiastic standing ovation greeted Clinton, she thanked those in attendance and spoke sincerely about the historic significance of Fisk and the great people who have come through the university, “including the one and only congressman John Lewis” she said.
“It is a real honor for me to be here,” Clinton said. “This university has a long and proud history.”
In her policy discussions, she initially touched on the economy, the deficit, small businesses, minimum wage and equal pay for equal work. Clinton defended President Barack Obama’s economic record and explained that the economy fares better under a Democratic president, saying that as both her husband Bill Clinton and as Barack Obama took office they each shared with her that the economy was much worse off than the public reports let on. But, she noted, each man took the challenge to heal the economy after “the bad stewardship and decision-making” of Republicans before them had wrecked it.
Clinton also talked about ISIS and the controversy surrounding allowing Syrian refugees into the United States. She excoriated Republicans for taking a hostile stand against allowing refugees from Syria into the country.
“We are by no means perfect,” Clinton said. “But we are the greatest nation in the history of the world.”
Mrs. Clinton spoke to about 1,500 supporters at LeMoyne-Owen College in Memphis earlier in the day before coming to Nashville. Friday’s visits marked Mrs. Clinton’s first to Tennessee since she announced her campaign. She noted the issues facing HBCUs and made it clear that she is interested in seeing black colleges succeed.
The presidential primaries for Tennessee will be on March 1, 2016, and people who have not yet registered to vote should do so as soon as possible.
Watch Mrs. Clinton’s entire address at Fisk at: https://youtu.be/AWdS4W8psgU
Following the public event, Mrs. Clinton attended a fund-raiser at the home of former Nashville mayoral candidate Bill Freeman, where reports indicate she raised about a half-million dollars for her campaign.
Mrs. Clinton Gets it! Why Hillary Clinton spoke at HBCUs in Tennessee
Hillary Clinton knows well the critical role that HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) play in extending opportunity to underserved students. One of her key programs is the New College Compact, which will support, encourage, and reward the HBCUs that help our students succeed so students can complete college, without costs being a barrier or debt holding them back.
For all public HBCUs, under the New College Compact students should never have to take out a loan to earn four-year degrees and will not have to pay a dime to earn two-year degrees because the plan invests new federal funds in states that commit to investing more in public HBCUs, meaning that HBCUs benefit from additional federal as well as state support under her plan; and it invests more funds when public schools enroll low- and middle-income students, meaning that HBCUs, which play a key role in educating underserved students, will be eligible for proportionally more support.
For all private HBCUs, such as Fisk and LeMoyne-Owen, Clinton’s plan creates a dedicated $25 billion fund to provide support to private nonprofit schools that serve low- and middle income students and help them build the skills they need.