ABC News' Sarah Amos Reports: It isn't unusual for former President Bill Clinton to run 30 or 45 minutes late to an event. In such cases, the campaign ordinarily just plays upbeat music or has a couple of energetic local officials come up and tell the crowd why they are supporting Hillary.
However, today's interim act took an interesting turn when Pennsylvania's Lieutenant Governor, Catherine Baker Knoll, took the stage in Bethlehem, PA.
Lt. Governor Knoll began by talking about her relationship with Hillary and Bill Clinton over the years, sharing her experiences to prove why Hillary is the best choice for President.
But it was Knoll's description of Hillary's opponent at the end of her speech that perked ears in the press riser.
"So, we're up against a new young kid, who's a nice young kid. I'm only saying: think it over, tell your friends and your neighbors and your family. There's nothing like experience," Knoll told the crowd. While not the worst description a surrogate could use for Senator Barack Obama, many might argue that a 46 year old man is anything but a "kid."
Knoll's speech was also unusual because of its heavy focus on policy. While most surrogates stick to broad talking points about Hillary, Knoll chose to go into heavy specifics.
With today being the anniversary of the war in Iraq, Knoll had strong words about what she called people "celebrating" the anniversary of the war.
"I'm very familiar with this. I have not been to Iraq, but I live in the middle of the National Guard down in Indian Time Gap. I've seen our kids we've lost, because the cemetery is right there. And I've seen our kids down at Walter Reed," Knoll told the crowd, adding, "Most of you aren't aware ofthis, because you're not exposed to it. But it's very, very serious, and we have to think this over, because look at all these beautiful young people here today. We don't want to be celebrating like we're celebrating today. Oh, this is the sixth year in Iraq. C'mon! Let's think this over.”
And her initial remarks weren't the last time the crowd would get to hear from Knoll. After two more local speakers delivered short remarks, it became apparent that the crowd still had quite a bit more time on their hands until President Clinton would arrive.
And so Knoll reappeared, this time to answer questions from the crowd. One question focused on gun control in America and got Knoll into trouble with many in the crowd.
"That's a very serious subject, because, you know, I've always been supported by NRA. But I will tell you that I am don't agree with everybody being able to buy as many guns as they want. Because if you go into Philadelphia - I'm sure some of you have been there - you can go into their stores and you can buy five or six guns at once. Did you know that? On the same day. Do you think that's right? I think it should be one gun a month," said Knoll. While her initial comments had most of the crowd agreeing with her, the last remarks turned off a large portion of the audience, some of who began shouting, "No."
Despite her rocky reception, Knoll continued to stall as long as she could. At one point, the crowd even asked her to sing - a request she politely declined. Finally, it was clear she was out of ideas, and so she exited the stage, hinting as she left that maybe they should play the music again.