UNIONTOWN -- With an outspoken antiwar critic at her side, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday repeated her pledge to end the war in Iraq before a cheering crowd of more than 2,000 crammed into a gym on Penn State's Fayette campus.
She was introduced by Rep. John P. Murtha, D-Johnstown, the veteran congressman whose endorsement last week underscored her front-runner status in Pennsylvania's April 22 primary.
"She'll do very well here; this is Clinton country," Mr. Murtha said after the evening rally, as Mrs. Clinton shook hands and signed autographs a few feet away. "She'll win this big -- all over Western Pennsylvania."
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When Mr. Murtha endorsed her last week, he was the first addition to the senator's crucial superdelegate total in weeks. The congressman said he had been swayed by her experience during her husband's administration. "She's seen the people coming to the White House, and all the things they hope they'll do, but she has enough experience to know what they can do."
Mr. Murtha joined Gov Ed Rendell and a roster of local Democrats in welcoming Mrs. Clinton, who stuck closely to her standard campaign speech in promising to reform health care, combat soaring college costs and nurture the environment.
In this traditional mining region, Mrs. Clinton emphasized the need for progress in clean coal technology, including steps to capture carbon emissions. "There's no reason why we can't do that, and we'll put thousands, millions of Americans to work," she said.