Former President Bill Clinton, campaigning on behalf of his wife yesterday, dismissed any talk that the race for the Democratic presidential nomination should be cut short before the last primaries.

Speaking before a crowd of about 1,500 at Pottstown Senior High School, Clinton said that "we do need to see how you vote" in Pennsylvania and the remaining states.

With Barack Obama leading in delegates and in the popular vote, some politicians and commentators have called on Hillary Rodham Clinton to give up her quest for the nomination in the name of party unity.

Her husband, who called the campaign to date "a wild ride and an interesting one," also took a shot at the news media.

He said his wife was doing well now because, ever since the March 4 primaries in Ohio and Texas, the race became a "normal election" with the media covering it in "something approaching an evenhanded way."

Bill Clinton remains quite popular in Southeastern Pennsylvania, based on his record as president. In introducing him yesterday, Gov. Rendell indicated that Hillary Clinton shares the credit for that record.

"During the '90s," Rendell said, "Bill and Hillary Clinton did more for America and more for Americans and more for Pennsylvania and more for Pennsylvanians than any president and first lady in my lifetime."

Rendell told the crowd that the state's Democrats should give her "a resounding vote of thanks and a resounding vote of confidence" in the primary April 22.

For his part, Clinton delivered what he called "not your traditional political speech."

He devoted most of his 45-minute talk to a detailed discussion of his wife's proposals to develop the green-energy industry, bring the nation universal health care, reform education, and restore fiscal responsibility.

After leaving Pottstown, Clinton made stops in Reading, Carlisle, Lewistown and State College.

Daughter Chelsea Clinton also was in the region yesterday, visiting an assisted-living facility in Bensalem, the student union at West Chester University, and a restaurant in North Philadelphia.

In Center City last night, she wowed about 300 people who had packed the upstairs of Woody's, a well-known gay bar on South 13th Street. For 25 minutes, she answered questions on a wide range of topics, including gay-oriented issues such as civil unions.

"She's a stronger, more progressive candidate in every issue I care about," the 28-year-old said of her mother. "She has supported civil unions for longer than I've been alive."

When asked about the first gay person she ever met, Chelsea Clinton said it was a law partner at her mother's firm in Little Rock.

The audience consisted predominantly of enthusiastic supporters of Hillary Clinton who held up posters and placards indicating whom they were voting for. The event was sponsored by Liberty City LGBT Democratic Club, which voted Tuesday to endorse Clinton.

Chelsea Clinton, along with Mayor Nutter, was scheduled to greet commuters this morning at 7:30 at Broad Street and Olney Avenue.

Contact senior writer Larry Eichel at 215-854-2415 or leichel@phillynews.com.

Inquirer staff writer Gail Shister contributed to this article.