INDIANAPOLIS -- President Bill Clinton canceled his trip to a rally for Rep. Julia Carson (D-10th) Saturday, but addressed the crowd via telephone at the practice facility of the Indianapolis Colts complex.\nClinton canceled his trip to Ohio and Indiana because of escalating violence in the Middle East.\n"For the last two days I've been up day and night, literally -- I was up all night last night -- because of the continuing violence in the Middle East and the responsibility the United States has to do everything we can to get things calmed down and get back to the peace process," Clinton said. "Nothing else could keep me away."\nCarson said she was disappointed, but acknowledged that the situation in the Middle East is a sensitive one.\n"Please know I would rather forgo political contributions in favor of our president staying the course and doing the job we have elected him to do," she said.\nA donor reception preceded the rally, and two later fund-raisers were scheduled at private residences later in the evening. Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, Democratic National Committee Chairman Joe Andrew and New Jersey Rep. Donald Payne (D-10) also spoke at the rally.\nAbout 150 attended the rally, which was set to accommodate up to 2,000. \nClinton said this is the first time in 26 years he has not been a candidate in an election, and in about four months he will be a regular citizen, examining the issues like every other voter.\n"This country is in good shape," he said. "That is the strongest argument for why every election this year is important -- every senate seat, every house seat, every governorship and, of course, most important of all, the election of president and vice president."\nHe specifically mentioned Indiana and encouraged Democrats to work to persuade voters in key states like Ohio and Michigan.\n"I want you to go out there between now and Election Day and ask everybody you know in Indiana and in the states bordering Indiana -- all of which are critical to our success -- to remember what it was like eight years ago. Look at what it's like now."\nHe emphasized the differences between the Republican and Democratic parties, pinpointing a patient's bill of rights and economic policy.\n"The Democratic party is the fiscally responsible party in America today," he said. "If you want this prosperity to keep going, you've got to vote for the Democrats. That's the message you've got to get out there all over America."\nSean Martin attended the rally, not knowing the President had canceled his trip until he arrived. He said the President's involvement with the rally would help other Democratic candidates.\n"I think it'll really help (Gov. Frank) O'Bannon. Democrats seem to be doing well in the polls but don't seem to be attracting their base as much, and things like this energize the base to come out."\nKathy Thomas, a member of a chapter of the AFL-CIO in Indianapolis who also volunteered for the event, said she would have attended the rally if she had known the President had canceled beforehand.\n"I had no idea until I got here, and then they said he wasn't going to be here," she said. "But I figured just to be here to support the cause and the movement itself was a good reason to be here"