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Granddaughter of a Millworker


Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., campaigns at Scranton High School in Scranton, Pa., Monday, March 10, 2008.(AP.)

By Perry Bacon Jr.
SCRANTON, Penn. -- The Senator from New York who grew up in Chicago but lived her adult life in Arkansas and Washington now is bragging of her roots in another place: Scranton, Pennsylvania.

"When my grandfather was 11 years old, he went to work in the lace mills," Clinton told a crowd of more than a thousand at a high school here Monday night. "He worked in the Scranton lace mills for his entire life until he retired when he was about 65. He worked in the mills for 54 years, every single day, all six days, Monday through Saturday."

She described her own August vacations in the cottage her grandfather built on nearby, saying "it was a great place to be a kid," recited the address where her grandfather had lived and in rare personal terms noted that her late father who grew up in the area was not in attendance but "here in spirit."

Clinton has touted her personal connections to numerous states as they she has campaigned in them, such as Iowa (her Midwestern upbringing), Massachusetts (she went to college there), Connecticut (law school) and Texas (she was an aide on the campaign of Sen. George McGovern).

Pennsylvania may be the most important place in the tour of Hillary's life. Clinton's campaign, aware it can only win the Democratic race by appealing to so-called superdelegates, the 800 Democratic officials who get votes in the nomination process and could tip it to either Clinton or Barack Obama, would like to get the Keystone State in the win column so she could claim she has taken primaries in crucial swing states Democrats will need in November such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.

And Clinton, who cast herself as the working class hero in Ohio, is likely to do so again here. But with Democrats choosing not to embrace the son of a millworker -- John Edwards -- early this year, questions remain about whether the granddaughter of a millworker will meet with more success.

By Web Politics Editor  |  March 11, 2008; 10:25 AM ET
Categories:  Hillary Rodham Clinton  
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