Hillary Rodham Clinton called for a new era of shared prosperity in America and told thousands of supporters at a presidential campaign rally on Saturday that workers can trust her to fight for them.
In the first major speech of her second campaign for president, Clinton portrayed herself as a fierce advocate for those left behind after the recession.
“It’s America’s basic bargain,” Clinton said. “If you do your part, you ought to be able to get ahead, and when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too.
“That bargain inspired generations of American families, including my own,” the former secretary of state and first lady said.
Clinton launched her campaign in April and has been conducting intimate listening sessions with voters in Iowa and other states with early nominating contests. This was the first large rally of her campaign.
Long one of the most divisive figures in American politics, Clinton was seeking to use the speech to present herself on her own terms and turn her politicized history into a strength. She lost her 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination to then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Although the heavy favorite to win the Democratic nomination, she faces a challenge from the left from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who has been attracting enthusiastic crowds in early voting states Iowa and New Hampshire with an anti-Wall Street message highlighting growing income inequality. Former Govs. Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Lincoln Chafee of Maryland are also in the race.
She cited Obama, and former Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt and Bill Clinton, her husband, and said they embraced the idea that “real and lasting prosperity must be built by all and shared by all.”
Her campaign said her “tenacious fighter” message will form the foundation of her 2016 White House race, even as she takes pains to stay silent on politically divisive issues, including two billed by Republicans as key to economic growth: a proposed trade deal with Pacific Rim nations and the Keystone XL oil pipeline.
She gave a nod at the start of her address to the prospect she would be the first woman elected to the White House.
Clinton told the thousands at the outdoor rally on Roosevelt Island in New York’s East River that she was glad to be with them “in a place with absolutely no ceilings.”
On Friday, the Clinton campaign released a video on Friday detailing her four decades in public service, starting with her work as a young lawyer at the Children’s Defense Fund.
After the Saturday speech, Clinton planned to visit early-voting states, with events focused on her relationship with her mother and her father’s background as a veteran and small businessman.
Clinton has spoken out strongly on immigration and other issues important to parts of the Democratic base.
But she has been reticent on other policy questions that have divided the party, among them a trade deal with Pacific Rim nations. Obama backs it. Organized labor, liberals and others say it would cost U.S. jobs.
On Friday, dozens of union-backed House Democrats voted down a critical part of Obama’s trade agenda, negotiating authority that would let him propose trade agreements that Congress could accept or reject, but not amend.
Clinton aides said she plans to give a major policy address almost every week in the summer and fall offering specific proposals on issues that include college affordability, jobs and the economy.
Report by Associated Press.
Hillary Clinton holds campaign rally
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promises to fight for ordinary Americans who have been struggling even as the U-S economy recovers. Clinton addressed working families during her first major rally of her bid for the White House. CCTV’s Liling Tan filed this report from New York.
Hillary Clinton holds campaign rallyDemocratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promises to fight for ordinary Americans who have been struggling even as the U-S economy recovers. Clinton addressed working families during her first major rally of her bid for the White House. CCTV's Liling Tan filed this report from New York.
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