Chelsea Clinton speaks at ‘Nova



Kate Carrubba

The Clinton campaign came to Villanova last Thursday with Chelsea Clinton’s appearance at the Belle Air Terrace.

Senior Tom Nardi, co-founder of Villanovans for Hillary, introduced Chelsea. Nardi presented Chelsea with a Villanova sweatshirt while describing Hillary as the candidate bringing change to America.

Chelsea took the stage to loud applause and spoke about how she “passionately supports [her] mom,” whom she described as the “most progressive and prepared candidate.”

The event was not without its share of controversy.

A Villanova student protested oil subsidies outside the Belle Air Terrace while dressed in a polar bear costume, though he did not stay for the entire event.

The event was low-key and followed the same format as Chelsea’s appearances at the 99 other colleges she has visited. Chelsea took questions for an hour from a packed crowd of both students and community members. The questions mostly came from students.

The first question was about Hillary’s specific plans for American involvement in the upcoming Summer Olympics, a controversial topic due to the recent protests in Tibet. Chelsea said that her mother views President Bush’s presence at the Opening Ceremonies as an acceptance of repressive Chinese actions. She also noted that Hillary wants to pressure the Chinese government to stop trade relations with the Sudanese government in light of the genocide in Darfur.

Chelsea also spoke about her mother’s plan to reduce American dependence on foreign oil by two-thirds by 2030. Hillary proposes to invest in 10 different sites around the country to research clean coal technology, which will in turn create 10,000 jobs. She also wants to invest in 21st century cars, which will reduce gas emissions while injecting life into the automobile industry, a feature Chelsea described as “distinctive” to the Clinton campaign. Chelsea also spoke about how Hillary wants to cut energy bills and government output by 20-30 percent and change the tax rate as an incentive for families and businesses to do the same. This in turn would create a new job market for millions of Americans, such as electrical engineers and high school dropouts who can be trained as green roofers.

Chelsea also touched upon the subject of immigration reform in response to a question from a Villanova student who is a first-generation American.

Chelsea said that her mother sees the need to reform the immigration system, but she believes that significant studies must be done to illustrate the impact of any plan before action can be taken. Hillary wants both legal and illegal immigrants to pay taxes and be set on the path to citizenship. She also plans to put a moratorium on new trade agreements upon taking office, which she believes will create better jobs with our trade partners. In addition, Chelsea reiterated her mother’s support of the Dream Act, which states that any student accepted to college should be eligible for financial aid regardless of his or her parent’s immigration status.

Chelsea’s response to questions about the war in Iraq drew applause from the listeners. She spoke about her mother’s continued opposition to the war, as well as her work to provide body armor for soldiers in Iraq.

Chelsea disclosed Hillary’s belief that there is no military solution to the war in Iraq, which has been proven by the troop surge.

She is a firm supporter of a sustainable democracy in Iraq, though she believes that peace in Iraq will only occur after peace between Israel and Palestine has been negotiated.

Hillary favors restricting enemy financial resources and restricting the flow of American money to Iran in order to prevent the Iranians supplying weapons to Iraqis.

Another popular question discussed the role of former President Bill Clinton in his wife’s administration.

According to Chelsea, her father believes that being president entails a “lifetime obligation to serve his country,” and he will continue to work under the next president regardless of who is in office.

Chelsea stated that her parents do not always agree on policy, as shown by a disagreement over the topic of free trade.