Hillary Clinton greets supporters Monday at the Scranton Cultural Center in Scranton, Pa. (Joe Raedle / Getty)
SCRANTON, Pa. -- On the eve of tomorrow's make-or-break Pennsylvania primary, Hillary Clinton came to her ancestral home of Scranton this morning armed not with a stump speech, but with a simple declaration: I understand you, because I'm one of you.
As she tries to maintain her Keystone State edge over Barack Obama, Clinton, whose father's family is from here, is making every effort to show she hails from small-town, middle-American stock. Recalling childhoods spent in the area, she said she learned "the kind of common-sense values that matter here in Pennsylvania and across America."
"We cared about our families, we cared about our faith," said Clinton, who was interrupted several times by chants like "Hillary! Hillary!" and "Madam President! Madam President!" "We believed in working hard. And we had an abiding faith in our country, an abiding faith that never ever quit."
She never mentioned Obama by name, but in this and other aspects of her speech -- more like an address to a pep rally -- Clinton tried to portray her rival as out-of-touch with America. (Obama's recent comments about "bitter" small-town voters hung in the air like humidity.)
Clinton also issued an implicit warning about voting for Obama, saying, "I don't want you to take a leap of faith," or rely on "guesswork" about what the next president will do. "We've had enough of that," she said, alluding to President Bush.
And she mocked one of Obama's signature lines by saying: "Some people say 'Yes we can,' but that doesn't mean you will. I believe we will."
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.