Hillary for America

End­ing years of spec­u­la­tion, gos­sip, and when is she going to announce talk, for­mer First Lady, Unit­ed States Sen­a­tor, and Unit­ed States Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Rod­man Clin­ton declared in a video mes­sage that she will seek the Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­na­tion for Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca in 2016.

Clin­ton’s video opens with a mon­tage of ordi­nary Amer­i­cans talk­ing about their hopes and plans for 2015 and beyond. She does not appear in her own video until a minute and a half in, where she can be heard say­ing, “I’m get­ting ready to do some­thing too.” The video then piv­ots to a scene of her stand­ing in front of a house, declar­ing, “I’m run­ning for President.” 

“Amer­i­cans have fought their way back from tough eco­nom­ic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,’ she continues.

“Every­day Amer­i­cans need a cham­pi­on. And I want to be that cham­pi­on. So you can do more than just get by — you can get ahead, and stay ahead. Because when fam­i­lies are strong, Amer­i­ca is strong.”

“So I’m hit­ting the road to earn your vote — because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this jour­ney,” she concludes.

Clin­ton’s 2016 cam­paign, bor­row­ing a page from the 2008 Oba­ma cam­paign and 2004 Dean cam­paign, will be called Hillary for Amer­i­ca. The cam­paign web­site is now live, and Clin­ton has also post­ed her video to Face­book, where it has thou­sands of likes already, and is rapid­ly gain­ing more.

Hillary for America

Clin­ton’s remark that “the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top” is already being called inspired by Eliz­a­beth War­ren in com­ments by talk­ing heads on cable tele­vi­sion. We cer­tain­ly hope that Clin­ton seeks out Eliz­a­beth War­ren’s coun­sel often and incor­po­rates her advice into her campaign.

There’s a lot to like about this launch. It’s low-key and does­n’t car­ry the same aura of inevitabil­i­ty Clin­ton’s peo­ple tried to cre­ate when they launched her 2008 bid. Clin­ton is due to begin cam­paign­ing in Iowa on Tues­day, which will con­sti­tute the next stage of her inten­tion­al­ly designed slow cam­paign rollout.

Though Clin­ton has not offered any pol­i­cy pre­scrip­tions yet, her video mes­sage hints that her plat­form may be more pro­gres­sive than in 2008. But we’ll reserve judg­ment until we hear specifics. Plat­i­tudes sim­ply will not do. There are a lot of peo­ple wait­ing to hear her artic­u­late what pol­i­cy direc­tions she intends to advo­cate for. We hope those pol­i­cy direc­tions are built on pro­gres­sive val­ues and principles.

Clin­ton has pre­vi­ous­ly expressed sup­port for keep­ing and enhanc­ing the Patient Pro­tec­tion Act, and dis­may at Repub­li­cans’ attempts to destroy Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s cred­i­bil­i­ty with lead­ers of oth­er nations. She is a strong sup­port­er of equal pay for equal work, LGBT rights (a gay cou­ple was fea­tured in her video), and Eliz­a­beth War­ren’s Con­sumer Finan­cial Pro­tec­tion Bureau (CFPB).

We will be par­tic­u­lar­ly inter­est­ed in hear­ing what she has to say on curb­ing the mass sur­veil­lance exposed by Edward Snow­den, keep­ing Amtrak fund­ed and build­ing more high speed rail, replac­ing No Child Left Behind, defend­ing Net Neu­tral­i­ty, pro­tect­ing our work­ers and small busi­ness­es from harm­ful trade agree­ments like the Trans-Pacif­ic Part­ner­ship, and speak­ing to oth­er issues that big media often gloss­es over or ignores.

Reac­tion to Hillary’s announce­ment is start­ing to pour in, and we’ll post it as we get it. The Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty was among the first orga­ni­za­tions in our region to issue a statement.

“Wash­ing­ton State Democ­rats wel­come Hillary Clin­ton to the Pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. She’s had a remark­able career fight­ing for our val­ues as a par­ty,” said Jax­on Ravens, Chair of the Wash­ing­ton State Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party.

“This com­ing cam­paign will be huge­ly impor­tant for our coun­try,” Ravens added. “The Repub­li­cans run­ning for Pres­i­dent uni­form­ly have dan­ger­ous views that would be deeply harm­ful to the mid­dle class and those seek­ing to enter it. We need a Demo­c­ra­t­ic nom­i­nee who will put the mid­dle class first, and we are pleased Hillary Clin­ton is seek­ing the nomination.”

U.S. Sen­a­tor Pat­ty Mur­ray offered an enthu­si­as­tic endorse­ment.

“This is an excit­ing moment for those of us in Wash­ing­ton State and across the coun­try who want our next Pres­i­dent to keep fight­ing for mid­dle class pri­or­i­ties and a gov­ern­ment that works for all fam­i­lies, not just the wealth­i­est few. I am proud to stand with so many oth­ers to sup­port Hillary in her effort to shat­ter that high­est and hard­est glass ceil­ing that has been cracked, but not yet bro­ken,” she wrote.

So did U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rick Larsen.

“I endorse Hillary Clin­ton for Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca because she shares my belief that our coun­try needs an econ­o­my that includes every­one and works for every­one. She has my full sup­port,” he wrote. 

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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