Politics

Here are 5 Powerful Moments from Hillary Clinton's Big Campaign Rally

June 12th 2015

By:
Sarah Gray

UOn Saturday, June 13, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held the first major campaign rally on Roosevelt Island in New York City. And the location held symbolic significance: Clinton invoked its namesake, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and his progressive legacy, as she shared her vision for the United States and explained why she's running for president of the United States.

"Lasting prosperity must be shared by all," Clinton said towards the beginning of her speech. Shared prosperity and a strengthened middle class were themes that wove their way through her speech, which included personal stories, a long list of policy initiatives, to a four-point plan principles.

"I want to be your champion," Clinton said to loud applause.

Here are the six most important takeaways from Clinton's campaign kickoff.

1. Economic prosperity -- for all

This was the overall theme of Clinton's speech. Two prongs of her four point plan spoke directly to economic prosperity: first ending policies that predominantly benefit the wealthy and replacing them with policies directly aimed at helping the middle class.

"America can't succeed unless you succeed," Clinton stated.

She discussed raising the minimum wage (though she did not give a specific dollar amount), her belief in the failure of conservative "trickle down" economics, and the problematic, short-term minds of Wall Street and corporate America. Clinton also spoke of reforming the tax code, helping small business owners, and strengthening the middle class through "growth and fairness."

2. Climate change

Clinton devoted a portion of her speech to addressing climate change, calling it "one of the defining threats" of our time. She also dinged her Republican opponents on the use of the phrase, "I am not a scientist," telling them they should listen to scientists. Clinton also put forth her vision for making the United States a "clean energy superpower" -- investing in wind, solar, cleaner power plants, better biofuels. Clinton argued that it would create millions of jobs. (And she didn't forget to mention that she'd help communities that currently rely on industries like coal.)

3. Helping families

Clinton said she will support universal preschool, paid family leave, closing the wage gap, mandated paid sick days, and laws requiring predictable scheduling for workers so they can hire childcare or even take college classes. She also brought up mental health and addiction, issues that she has recently highlighted in her campaign.

Clinton also touched on student loan debt; her plan to tackle the student loan crisis is expected to be announced next month.

4. National security

Clinton also invoked her time as Secretary of State -- even brining up the fact that she was in the Situation Room when Osama Bin Laden was killed. Clinton also stressed the importance of taking care of veterans when they get home from war.

5. Strengthening United States democracy

A hefty portion of her speech -- and the fourth point in her plan -- talked about increasing participation in democracy. Clinton drew huge applause when she stated that she'd support an amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case, which opened the floodgates in 2-1- to more money in politics. She also campaigned on universal voter registration and restoring voting rights to felons.

Watch the full speech below at the 36 minute mark:

 
 
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