Clinton thrills crowd of more than 1,000

By Scott Halasz shalasz@civitasmedia.com

June 28, 2014

BEAVERCREEK — More than 1,000 people lined up at The Greene Town Center Friday evening for a chance to see Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The former first lady and secretary of state signed her new book, “Hard Choices,” for 1,050 people at Books & Co. as Clinton continued her national book tour. She walked in to a roaring cheer a little before 7 p.m., stood in front of her signing table, said “What’s up” to the crowd and signed about eight books a minute.

The book chronicles Clinton’s stint as secretary of state under President Barack Obama and wraps up with Clinton saying she is unsure about another presidential try. If she is to run again, Ohio is a good place to stir up excitement as no president has won the election without winning Ohio since John F. Kennedy in 1960.

Those lined up — who came from as far away as Canton — hope she gives it another try.

“I hope she’ll run this time. I want to see a woman become president,” said Sugarcreek Township resident Janet Lee. “I think she’s brilliant. She’ll be very good for the country.”

Centerville resident Steve Swisher is such a fan of Clinton that he actually bought the book twice. If he wanted to get an autograph he had to. Swisher had already purchased the book from another source before the signing was announced. Only books purchased at Books & Co., or it’s parent company, would be signed.

“I’ll probably give it to a family member,” Swisher said of the extra book.

Indian Lake resident Fran Sipple was first in line when tickets were made available earlier in the week. She arrived at The Greene at 3:30 a.m. to get tickets for her and her friend, Patti Nichols.

“Hillary is worth it,” Sipple said.

It wasn’t the first time Sipple mingled with Clinton. In 2003 Sipple and 39 other active duty military and civilian Department of Defense employees had Thanksgiving with Clinton in Afghanistan when Clinton was a U.S. Senator from New York.

From first in line to last in line — Beavercreek attorney Joanna Lenefonte was ecstatic when she found out yesterday she had a place in line.

“My boyfriend (Ivan Garcia) surprised me with the ticket,” she said. “I had no idea. I didn’t find out (she was coming to town) until I got the ticket.” Garcia grabbed the final ticket at 5:45 p.m. Thursday.

Kettering resident Stephanie Keen sees Clinton as a role model for younger females.

“I think she really shows that women can do well in politics,” Keen said.

Things ran smoothly outside of Books & Co., as the Greene County Sheriff and officers from the Beavercreek Police Department and the Dayton Bomb Squad made sure the perimeter was safe.

One man was seen near the entrance to The Greene holding a sign that said “Benghazi,” referring to Sept. 11, 2012, when Islamic militants attacked the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, in Libya, killing several Americans. Clinton, then-secretary of state, was accused of a cover up by some.

The book has some critics too. It’s been called “newsless snore,” and a “bomb” by some.