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No Rest For The Weary: Hours After Convention's End, Clinton Hits The Trail


Welcome to the general election. After last night's balloon drop at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, the final push to November is underway. Donald Trump is in Colorado today. We'll hear from him elsewhere in the show. We'll start now with NPR's Tamara Keith, who's traveling with Hillary Clinton.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: The big, blue buses wrapped with the campaign slogan, stronger together, were parked outside and ready to hit the road when Hillary Clinton and her running mate, Tim Kaine, bounded onto stage at Temple University in Philadelphia.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN: So I will introduce them as the Clinton Family and the Kaine family.

KEITH: Kaine spoke first.


TIM KAINE: I was tired after last night, but I'm awake now.


KEITH: The American flags waved by every supporter in the crowd seemed to have migrated from the convention hall the night before. There are always plenty of flags at political events, no matter the party, but this was a lot of flags. The message - unmistakable. In this election, Clinton argues, it isn't about simple partisan differences. It's about core American values.


HILLARY CLINTON: I can't think of an election that is more important, certainly in my lifetime. And it's not so much that I'm on the ticket; it is because of the stark choice that is posed to America in this election.

KEITH: That choice was highlighted at the Democratic convention with speeches from pro-Clinton Republicans, a general and the father of a fallen Muslim-American soldier. The pitch is that this isn't a race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, but between America and Donald Trump. Debbie Cantor came to see Clinton and Kaine at Temple. She watched the convention on TV, but says she turned down several watch-party invites.

DEBBIE CANTOR: I said, I can't go to a party because I'm crying. And it's just - you know, for a woman - I'm now 60. And to see that there's such a beautiful change possible - it's possible.

KEITH: And as Cantor sees it, Clinton is the right person for this moment.

CANTOR: I think she needed these years of hard - hardship to show what her true character is. And although she's a little bit hard on the outside, she's exactly what we need.

KEITH: Clinton and Kaine will spend the next three days campaigning in Pennsylvania and Ohio. They'll be stopping in towns like Hatfield and Youngstown to highlight efforts to recover from economic hardship and a decline in traditional manufacturing. These are swing states President Obama won in 2012, but where Donald Trump is making a strong appeal to working-class, white voters. He talks regularly about the loss of manufacturing jobs and promises to reopen steel plants. With this bus tour, Clinton and Kaine are offering their answer.


CLINTON: Within the first 100 days of our administration, we're going to break through the gridlock in Washington and make the biggest investment in new, good-paying jobs since World War II.


KEITH: And drawing a contrast with Trump.


CLINTON: I find it highly amusing that Donald Trump talks about make America great again. He doesn't make a thing in America except bankruptcies.


KEITH: And with that, Clinton and Kaine boarded a bus with their spouses and set off to visit a Pennsylvania factory. Tamara Keith, NPR News, on the road - literally - with the Clinton campaign. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.