Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The Associated Press
(Continued from page 1)
Hillary Rodham Clinton
The Associated Press
Her speech to the Delta convention and a separate address to the American Bar Association in San Francisco focused on her critique of the Supreme Court's decision to invalidate parts of the Voting Rights Act, a decision that angered many liberals. Clinton said the ruling could make it more difficult for the poor and elderly to vote, words that were embraced with shouts of "Run, Hillary, Run," at the end of her speech.
"She's doing all the right things to become a candidate, certainly, she's done nothing antithetical to that," said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who rejected the notion that Clinton should avoid speaking about policy issues for fear of alienating potential voters. "She's solidifying the enthusiasm of people in the Democratic base who are looking for strong leadership. So I think she's on the right track."
Clinton most recently backed Obama's threats to use force in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria and has said it was the reason Russia urged Syria to get rid of its stockpile.
In Chicago, Clinton echoed her husband's recent speech in support of Obama's health care law, saying the overhaul should be implemented and improved where necessary. "Nobody has a better idea," she said.
She also expressed hope that Congress would avoid defaulting on the nation's debt. "I just hope they realize this could be a terrible self-inflicted wound that would have implications for everything we care about," she said.
Clinton's travels also help burnish her centrist credentials. During a June address at the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, Mich., she talked about the characteristics of leadership and sat next to Richard and Helen DeVos, both longtime Republican financial donors and activists. Her private, paid speeches have put her before industry groups that represent financial interests, housing developers and the tourist industry.
Earlier this month, Clinton received the Liberty Medal from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. The group's chairman, former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., credited Clinton's "lifelong career in public service." Famous friends and supporters, including former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and tennis star Billie Jean King, praised her in video testimonials.
Her childhood development initiative with the Clinton Foundation, called Too Small to Fail, features a leadership council that includes former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., and Cindy McCain, the wife of Arizona Sen. John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.
Her travel can often resemble a victory lap, filled with awards and acclaim. In addition to speeches at three New York universities, in the heart of where she built her first campaign for Senate, Clinton will be honored by Yale Law School, where she earned her law degree, and the Children's Defense Fund, where she started her work in the 1970s as an advocate for women and children.
Clinton is fielding offers to teach at universities, including Yale, Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and New York University, where her daughter, Chelsea, is co-founder of a multifaith center.
Hillary Clinton is writing a book, due out next spring, about her time as the nation's top diplomat, and will discuss her work on health and economic issues related to women and children during this coming week's Clinton Global Initiative meeting in New York.
But some of the events show a lighter side. During a question-and-answer session, Chicago journalist David Viggiano wrapped up his interview by asking Clinton "five frivolous questions," including a request that she pose with him for a "selfie" on stage.
After the quick photo, she smiled as she revealed her childhood celebrity crush (1950s teen idol Fabian), her love of the Home and Garden Television Network and the "therapeutic" enjoyment of cleaning and organizing closets. But when Viggiano told her a Chicago bar wanted to create a "Hillary" cocktail, she was speechless.
"I have been asked nearly everything but I have to tell you, David, nobody ever asked me that and I'm at a loss for words," Clinton said, "which you know is not a common trait for me."