The Candidates at the AIPAC Conference

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Hillary Clinton

A day photographing at AIPAC by Lorie Shaull. All photographs for PoPville by Lorie Shaull

“I went to AIPAC out of a curiosity to have the opportunity to photograph and see the candidates up close, and yes, based on Trump’s past speaking record, wondering what might play out inside.

The day began with AIPAC managing director Richard Fishman reminding audience members that an invitation to AIPAC didn’t mean an endorsement and a basic prep talk discouraging audience members from showing opposition by booing the candidates. Blatant opposition inside the conference seemed fairly unlikely with long lines to get in, heavy police presence, and Secret Service searches at the entrance.

Sanders being absent from the event, Clinton focused much of her message on her experience. She also opened by acknowledging younger audience members, “you will keep the US/Israel relationship going strong,” and as she ended her speech to applause, referenced Trump, “If you see bigotry oppose it, if you see violence condemn it, if you see a bully stand up to him.”

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John Kasich

Republican candidates took their turn during the evening session. Kasich emphasized his dependableness and experience in foreign policy, Trump telepromptered his speech and was the only candidate who wouldn’t allow photographers down on the floor.

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Donald Trump

He received a fair amount of applause, no obviously visible protesters, but being far removed from the floor it was difficult to gauge whether the cheers were for what he was saying or for his ability to entertain by using catch phrases about “dealmaking,” many “believe me’s,” and taking yet another opportunity to mention Ivanka’s impending birth to that “beautiful Jewish baby.”

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Ted Cruz

Like Trump, Cruz talked much about Iran but mentioned that the difference was that he could carry out his promises and also unlike Trump, he allowed photographers on the floor.”

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