President Clinton visits Asheville ***UPDATED WITH VIDEO OF THE SPEECH***

Thousands of people welcomed former President Bill Clinton to Asheville today. He was here stumping for Congressman Heath Shuler, in a hotly contested race with Republican Jeff Miller for the 11th District Congressional seat. The Rally took place at City County Plaza in downtown Asheville, and while the program was scheduled to start at 12:30pm,  the former president — true to form — was running late and finally took the stage at 1:45. In the meantime, the crowd was treated to some rousing music by local jazz great Kat Williams.  Report, slideshow and aggregated Twitter feed after the jump. Photo by Michael Muller