Hillary Clinton campaigns for Martha Coakley in Boston
Former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton stood with Martha Coakley on Friday, urging supporters to spend the next 11 days telling everyone they can to vote for Coakley for governor.
"We cannot possibly rest between now and Nov. 4," Clinton told the crowd. "You don't want to wake up the day after this election and say, 'I wish I could have done more.' "
More than 1,500 stalwart Coakley supporters, some of whom had traveled from Worcester and Lynn, packed into the Imperial Ballroom at the Park Plaza hotel, where they heard Clinton encourage them to "knock on doors. Send those e-mails. Make those phone calls. Talk to every voter you can find."
Clinton's appearance was one of many she has made for Democrats around the country this election season. Her Friday schedule also included an appearance for US Representative Mike Michaud, the Democratic candidate for governor in Maine. Next weekend, she plans to appear at a rally for US Senator Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire.
Clinton and Coakley were joined by Governor Deval Patrick, US Senators Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, and Coakley's running mate, Steve Kerrigan. Just before the rally began, Clinton held a fund-raiser with Coakley at the Park Plaza that raised $500,000.
Each speaker ticked off the issues — from early education to earned sick time to improving infrastructure to women's reproductive rights — that they said distinguish Coakley from her Republican rival, Charlie Baker.
"Republicans today care about the folks who are already comfortable," Patrick said. "Democrats are about helping people find the path to get comfortable. That is the difference."
And while Friday's rally was about helping Coakley beat Baker, who, according to the most recent Globe poll, leads her by 9 percentage points, there were moments when Clinton widened the aperture of the lens.
"This is one of those election years that will really set the stage for what comes here and in Massachusetts and around the country," she said.
Clinton praised Patrick, the Democratic ticket, and the state's congressional delegation. She was effusive in her praise of Warren, whom she called a "passionate champion for working people and middle-class families."
"I love watching Elizabeth giving it to those who deserve to get it," she said.
There has been much speculation about Warren making a run for the White House in 2016, which raises the prospect of squaring off against Clinton, who is widely seen as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, should she decide to run. Warren, though, has repeatedly dismissed the notion of a presidential bid in 2016.
But Friday was about Coakley, and those standing with her seemed undeterred by Baker's recent surge in public polls. The campaign said its internal polling shows the race within 2 points.
"We are in a dead heat," Coakley told the raucous group of supporters. "And I promise you, we are going to win this race."
Coakley said she would be victorious because of the energy and enthusiasm of her supporters, while outlining what she saw as grave consequences if Baker is elected.
"We will see budgets cuts, services cut, crucial jobs cut, or maybe even outsourced," she said. "Charlie Baker has spent a lot of a lot of time in this race talking about his record creating jobs. He just forgot to tell you they're in India."
When the nearly two-hour rally was over, those present said they were fired up.
"This is the first time I came to this type of event, and I am ready to knock on doors right now," said Doris Cristobal, who lives in Lynn. Nov. 4 will be the first time the Peruvian native will vote as an American citizen.
"As a worker, I am cleaning offices, and she supports me," said Cristobal, who was holding an oversized campaign sign. "Minimum wage. Earned sick time. She supports me."
Eileen Kenner of Dorchester said seeing so many powerful women on stage was long overdue. It's time the state had its first elected female governor and female president, she said.
"Women have to collaborate; we have to unite," said Kenner, who was wearing a head wrap and matching skirt adorned with American flags.
Coakley, she said, is the candidate to ensure economic development comes to urban communities. "Those who have selective amnesia can look at the record and see," she said of those people considering Baker.
Baker, a former health care executive, hasn't leaned on high-wattage Republicans for public events as Coakley has with Democrats, though he did enlist former presidential candidate Mitt Romney for a recent private fund-raiser.
On the Democratic side, in addition to the state's leading Democrats — Warren and Patrick are campaign trail regulars — top national figures have come out to support Coakley's campaign.
Former president Bill Clinton rallied for her in Worcester. Michelle Obama sang her praises at the Strand Theatre in Dorchester. And Vice President Joe Biden will host a fund-raiser for Coakley Wednesday at the Banshee, a Dorchester Irish pub.
Still, Baker and groups supporting him have been airing more broadcast television ads, spending more money on those ads, and, specialists say, reaching more viewers than Coakley and her allies — something that came up repeatedly during Friday's rally.
“They think they can buy this race,” Warren said. “Well, I want to be clear about one thing: Martha Coakley is not giving up. Martha Coakley is fighting back.”