A community college center in Monticello where students from nearby high schools learn how to fix cars is the backdrop for Hillary Clinton’s first public appearance in Iowa. A group of reporters and a line of TV cameras are hovering on one side of the room, with a Toyota against one wall and a Ford at the other end of the room, both the hoods popped, exposing the engines to teaching moments.
Diane Temple of Monticello, one of the instructors teaching high schoolers who attend the community college, supported Barack Obama in 2008 and was invited to talk with Clinton this afternoon.
“Very excited that she chose Monticello to start,” Temple said before the event as she and a group of students waited in a traditional classroom across the hall. “I understand her campaign is focusing on every day people and that’s what we are. We’re real people here and I’m excited to learn what she would like to hear from us.”
The 17- and 18-year-olds who will surround Clinton at the “roundtable discussion” were born at the end of Bill Clinton’s presidency. Parker Kray of Monticello is a 17 year old high school senior.
“It’s pretty interesting that she would choose such a small, regional area to come to,” Kray said as a small swarm of reporters passed through the classroom, interviewing the students.
Kray is getting community college credit while he’s still in high school.
‘The academies are a great program that we can get college credit…and it really kick starts our career, you could say,” Kray said.
Clinton formally announced she is running for president on Sunday in a video message posted online. Her first stops of the campaign are in Iowa. The event in Monticello is scheduled to start at 1:15 p.m.