Hillary Clinton Is Test-Driving Presidential-Campaign Themes

hillaryHillary Clinton only spoke for a few minutes Thursday night, beside stone columns lit with red and blue lights, and before an iPhone-toting crowd that had gathered to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Center for American Progress. But her words were unmistakably those of a politician who had not yet retired from the electoral game.

…The fact that she is not officially running has not stopped her from testing out themes on the stump, while positioning herself against her likely Republican opponents. The examples show up on both sides of the Atlantic, in paid speeches, at awards dinners, rallies and fundraisers.

Here are six examples that could form the backbone of a 2016 campaign:

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1. Economic inequality. Like the Obama campaign’s focus in 2012, Clinton has talked in recent weeks on the growing gap between the nation’s wealthiest and poorest. Accepting an award from her alma mater, Yale Law School, Clinton said in a wide-ranging address that the nation must “reverse this tide of inequality that is eating away at the social fabric of our country.”

2. Youth empowerment. When she left the State Department, she launched the “too small to fail” initiative focused on early-childhood development and education through the newly renamed Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation. “Our country’s future depends on healthy kids and loving families. They’re the building blocks of a strong and prosperous society,” she said in the video launching the new program. Such messages have long been a theme for Clinton — who produced a book called It Takes a Village — and it has the added theme of deepening her appeal to the female vote.

3. Selfless ambition. Clinton has never been one to run from the clichés of American electoral politics, and while stumping for Virginia gubernatorial candidate and former campaign co-chair Terry McAuliffe, she fully embraced the classic archetype of the do-good political martyr, willing to selflessly give of herself. “When you think about why people run for office in these times — if it’s only about yourself, if it’s only about you wanting to get a job and the perks that go with it, and having people stand up when you come into the room, that’s not enough anymore because it’s hard,” she told the crowd. “Politics is hard.”

4. The Washington outsider. No one can run for national office these days without running against the seat of national political power, even when a member of her own party occupies the White House.
This article continues at swampland.time.com


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