MANCHESTER, N.H. — Hillary Clinton sought Sunday to project confidence during her final sprint to Election Day, describing a vision to unify the country in celebrity-packed campaign stops but making no direct mention of FBI Director James Comey’s latest letter regarding her email controversy.
“This election is a moment of reckoning,” the Democrat said after a concert here for thousands of her supporters by folk singer James Taylor. “It is a choice between division or unity.”
Clinton is locked in a tight race here in New Hampshire against Donald Trump and seeks to block his path to 270 Electoral College votes with a victory.
“Like all of you, I love our country and I believe with all my heart that our best days are still ahead of us — if we reach for them together,” she said at a Radisson Armory. “We will have some work to do to bring about healing and reconciliation after this election. We have to begin listening to one another and respecting one another, because our core values are being tested in this election.”
Her comments were a nod to the invective-steeped race.
She was introduced by Khizr Khan, the Gold Star father of a Muslim U.S. Army captain killed in the Iraq War, who called Clinton the leader who “knows that we are stronger together.”
Comey’s letter Sunday to Congress said the FBI will uphold its July decision not to recommend criminal charges, following a review of newly discovered emails. His Oct. 28 missive had thrown a wrench into the election by announcing the FBI had found new correspondences and renewing controversy over Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state.
Clinton had been en route to Cleveland when news broke of about the new FBI decision. LeBron James and J.R. Smith, of the NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers, appeared onstage with her.
Her campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri told reporters aboard the candidate’s plane, “We’re glad that this matter is resolved.”
The White House hopeful spoke in Cleveland about the partisan divide in Washington, D.C.
“There will only be gridlock if people that are elected to represent you don’t want to help you,” she said, adding that congressional members elected must aid the working and middle classes, not “the wealthy, the powerful and the well-connected.”
She was expected to bring more star power to events Monday.
One of her final rallies was to be held against the backdrop of Independence Hall in Philadelphia, with Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi performing. Bill and Chelsea Clinton and President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were to join.
Clinton in visits to New Hampshire has also worked to boost down-ballot Democrats.
The party’s gubernatorial, Senate and congressional candidates all made warm-up remarks at the Radisson.
“Just two wake-ups to go to make sure that on Wednesday we continue to work for that cause that is greater than any single one of us: this remarkable state and this remarkable country,” said Maggie Hassan, the New Hampshire governor who is vying for the Senate seat of GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Their race could help to determine whether Democrats seize control of the Senate.
Trump and running mate Mike Pence have underscored the importance of the Granite State to their bid.
Pence, the governor of Indiana, was due in Windham, New Hampshire, on Sunday night, and he and Trump were to hold their last rally before Election Day on Monday in Manchester.
Recent polls of New Hampshire voters have shown Trump either ahead of Clinton by a couple points or tied.
“Her path to 270 can take a variety of forms, including through New Hampshire,” Wayne Lesperance, political science professor at New England College. “Trump’s path is much narrower.”
He added that Trump’s campaign would have a harder time here come Election Day because Clinton’s has a more sophisticated ground game and get-out-the-vote operation.