Clinton comes home: Library, Pickwick Theatre among Park Ridge stops
Kristin Hunt isn't an ardent supporter of Hillary Clinton. But she brought her two daughters to catch a glimpse as the Democratic presidential candidate arrived Thursday for a fundraiser in her hometown of Park Ridge.
"I brought my girls out for the history of all this," Hunt said of her children, ages 2 and 7. "I want them to understand that as a woman, you can do anything."
Clinton's visit to the town where she was raised was seen as a boost to her confidence and coffers as she battles Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the race toward California's June 7 primary. Her campaign staged the event at her old hangouts, including the Pickwick Theatre. The Pick Restaurant served hamburgers with sliced green olives, a favorite of the teenage Hillary Rodham, a Maine South High School graduate.
She stopped by the Park Ridge Library, another one-time favorite haunt, and traded book titles with the librarians.
Hillary's recommendation: "Dead Wake" by Eric Larson, which she said she'd recently finished, Library Director Jan Van De Carr said.
Park Ridge has leaned Democratic in recent years and favored Clinton over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the March primary. But across Illinois, she beat Sanders by less than 2 percent of the vote.
On Thursday, Clinton greeted and took photographs with supporters at The Pick -- many of whom paid as much as $2,700 a ticket -- as a few dozen protesters gathered across the street, shouting "No more Clintons," among other slogans.
After the restaurant meet and greet, Clinton was introduced to a larger group at a separate private event at the Pickwick Theatre by her longtime childhood friends, among them Betsy Ebeling of Arlington Heights.
"Sure, this town is (politically) divided, but I see this as a win for Park Ridge," Mayor Marty Maloney said.
Dina Dalianis of Park Ridge said she didn't even vote in Illinois' Democratic primary in March and feels like she's "left with no option" but Clinton in November. But she said she was thrilled her daughter Anastasia, a Maine South High School junior, was among a small group of local students chosen to go to the event.
"For girls, Secretary Clinton is a role model," Dalianis said. "It's important to really have respect for all of her accomplishments."