Hillary Clinton promised to stand up for average Americans as she announced her intent to run for president once again. The announcement came in two parts with an email from campaign chairman John Podesta to supporters, followed by Clinton announcing her decision in a YouTube video.
Clinton, 67, said she wanted to be a champion for “everyday Americans” and the two-minute video, shot last week, shows Clinton in New York, and typical Americans from key primary states doing the best they can to change their lives for the better. The presidential candidate began her appeal to middle-class America by acknowledging a bad economy, and stating the system still favors the rich and powerful.
“Americans have fought back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” Clinton said. She put a shorter version of her announcement message on Twitter after the video aired.
Clinton supporters seemed to be prepped for the announcement, with a group called We Are Hillary For America, communicating with prospective volunteers on Saturday about the campaign’s principals providing the foundation for Clinton’s second presidential bid. The statement pointed out that families, small businesses and Americans need a way to have long-standing prosperity.
The Democratic frontrunner took Sunday to call key supporters and plans to go to important primary states this week. She will start with Iowa and then go to New Hampshire. Her 2016 presidential campaign is borrowing some of the successful elements from her failed 2008 bid that she lost to fellow Democrat President Barack Obama, but is also implementing a different method to reach the average American.
Large-scale rallies are on hold as Clinton will first have round table discussions in small communities, including Monticello and Norwalk, Iowa. She will meet with students, educators and small business owners, and include them in those round table meetings, according to her campaign. She is also utilizing social media and newer technology in combination with grassroots efforts in an attempt to actively involve her supporters in her campaign. The candidate will hold a formal kick-off rally, after supporters have enough organization to host house parties showing the rally using live streaming.
Part of the presidential campaign will be to reinvent her image as someone who mirrors most Americans. Clinton is well known around the world as a first lady, a U.S. Senator and as Secretary of State. In coming months, her campaign wants to stress her Midwestern roots, the strength of her family and her time as a mother.
She may have some work to do to win a favorable public image. Polls numbers show her support has dropped lately, largely due to the discovery of government business emails Clinton sent from her personal email address. There are other issues from her days as Secretary of State that are also hanging as a cloud over her head, including ongoing questions into the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi that left four Americans dead.
The announcement marks the first Democrat to enter the 2016 race. Two Republicans, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, recently announced their bids for the presidency. Cruz and Paul are portraying themselves as those outside the beltway. The Democratic candidate’s approach is that she is an integral part of a political system, but one where Clinton promises to stand up for average Americans.
By Melody Dareing
Photo by Rona Proudfoot – Flickr license