MONTCLAIR, NJ - Nearly 1,000 people came to Montclair's Watchung Booksellers on Tuesday to catch a glimpse of Hillary Clinton, who came to town as part of her book promotion tour.
When Clinton's visit was announced several weeks ago, Watchung Booksellers sold about 1,000 tickets in the first hour, said store owner Margot Sage-El. Clinton is promoting her book "What Happened."
While the Barnes & Noble store in New York City had a similar number of people show up for Clinton's visit there, many at the Montclair event said they felt it quite a remarkable sight to see the crowd in Montclair's Watching Plaza. Many who showed up were chanting “Hillary.”
Sage-El said 895 of the tickets sold were scanned at the event, though more came through the store as many people brought children along. Hundreds of additional spectators without tickets gathered outside. The former first-lady, secretary of state and presidential candidate was welcomed with signs - displayed by supporters throughout the Montclair neighborhood - including some that said, “You're our president,” “Hillary you got robbed” and “never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.”
When Clinton walked through the door at 5:35 p.m., the attendees displayed a variety of reactions. Some seemed to be holding back tears. Some didn't bother holding back. Some seemed overjoyed.
Sage-El said twice a year publishers send a list of authors on tour and booksellers have an opportunity to pitch them. Her representative encouraged her to do so, despite Sage-El's assumption Clinton would select a larger venue.
“She was incredibly gracious to Montclair,” said Sage-El. “Her people were so moved by our community’s enthusiasm.”
During the signing, a young girl named Madison Spielberg, whose birthday was coming the following day, received a "Happy Birthday" and a hug from Clinton. The young lady said she'd been looking forward to that moment for a month. “I was really nervous, but once I hugged her I was like, whoa," she said.
As Clinton signed books, she remarked about a young man’s T-shirt which indicated he worked on her campaign in New Hampshire. Many people wore T-shirts with slogans from the campaign including "Nasty Woman" and "We’re the Majority."