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At Clinton Town Hall, Questions Range From Climate To College To Keystone XL

Jason Moon for NHPR
Hillary Clinton at a town hall at the Concord, NH Boys and Girls Club on 9/17/2015

In a full - but not exactly packed - gymnasium at the Concord Boys and Girls Club Thursday evening, Clinton touted a long list of local endorsements, including Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Governor Maggie Hassan, before digging into a wide range of topics. Questions from an engaged audience touched on everything from the Iranian Nuclear Deal to how Clinton would define the word “equality.”

In her answers to questions on climate change and college affordability, the candidate took pains to stress how these topics were missing from the previous night’s Republican Presidential debate.

“I didn’t hear one of them say hey here’s how we can be more competitive educationally, how we can get college affordable, how we can deal with the student-debt load which is 1.2 trillion dollars that is weighing down 40 million of our people.”

When asked about a slightly less comfortable topic – whether she supports the Keystone XL Pipeline - Clinton raised a few eyebrows with a new take on a familiar response.

“One of my favorite issues [laughter]. Let me just tell you this: I have been waiting for the administration to make a decision. I thought I owed them that. I worked for the administration; I started the process that is supposed to lead to a decision. I can’t wait too much longer and I am putting the White House on notice, I am going to tell you what I think soon.”

By the end, Clinton took the audience into a lightning round to try and get to as many questions as possible.

“I saw a hand over here, yes this lady. Ok please get the microphone, you guys have got to move a little quicker, let’s get the microphone moving [laughter].”

For Diane Morris of Concord, who had had some reservations coming in, seeing Clinton in the flesh made all the difference.

“I always liked her but…she’s really good in this format.”

Constance Biavosky, also of Concord, praised Clinton’s performance and says she’s not worried about what the future holds for Hillary Clinton.

“I think she’s overcome quite a lot of obstacles and that’s why I admire her. She’s lasted all through the years.”

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.

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