Hillary Clinton Launches Her 2016 Campaign With High-dollar Speeches

By:  Bob Adelmann
Hillary Clinton Launches Her 2016 Campaign With High-dollar Speeches

The former Secretary of State has all but officially announced her candidacy for 2016 with a burst of speechifying to wealthy donors.

With a recent series of highly compensated speeches to wealthy and influential groups, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (shown in photo) has unofficially but effectively launched her 2016 presidential campaign. In July Clinton spoke to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, a $40 billion international private equity firm, followed by another to the $31 billion international asset manager Carlyle Group in September. On October 24 and then again on October 29, she addressed conferences sponsored by the international banking firm Goldman Sachs. At $200,000 per speech, Clinton has raked in nearly a million dollars in two months.

This coincides with an alleged slip of the tongue that occurred on September 13 when Clinton was being awarded an honorary degree from St. Andrew’s University. She was asked the inevitable question about whether she was going to run in 2016 for the presidency of the United States, and she initially responded with her usual answer: “I haven’t made up my mind yet.” But when guests joked that that response was unsatisfactory, she added: “Yes, it is unsatisfactory … I’m minded to do it.”

Then she formalized her re-entry into politics on Saturday, October 19, when she attended a rally in Virginia for Democratic governor candidate Terry McAuliffe. She used that occasion to begin to practice her sound bytes for her campaign:

Recently in Washington unfortunately we've seen examples of the wrong kind of leadership. When politicians choose scorched earth over common ground … when they operate in what I call the “evidence-free” zone [of] ideology trumping everything else … that’s not the kind of leadership we need in America today.

In these and other speeches (in one three-day stretch, Clinton spoke at the University of Buffalo, a conference for the liberal Center for American Progress, and Colgate University), she tried on other phrases that would fit nicely into 20-second TV spots, including: “We need to assure that future generations can realize the American Dream … [and have] a full discussion of the NSA’s surveillance program.” She accused Republicans of “careening from crisis to crisis” and expressed her willingness to “take on our problems here at home including ending the gridlock that has paralyzed our political system … [and] developing new strategies for creating jobs and getting back to growing incomes for the hard-working middle-class Americans who are still worried about their futures.”

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