This time, Hillary Clinton showed up for her announcement.
After two months of beta testing, working out the bugs in a campaign announced on Twitter that featured a cross-country van tour but virtually no interactions with actual reporters, the Clinton campaign relaunched Saturday with an event on Roosevelt Island in her adopted home state of New York.
The former secretary of state took the stage and evoked the memory of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his Four Freedoms. She name-checked the last two Democrat presidents, Barack Obama and her husband, Bill Clinton.
Then she tried to set herself apart from them.
“It’s not 1993, or even 2009,” she noted. In those years, “we were told if we let those at the top bend the rules, their success would ‘trickle down’ to everyone else,” she explained to groans from the crowd. “You know where we ended up.”
Trying to walk a fine line between criticizing Obama and praising him, Clinton said the country is “standing again,” but she wants to get it “running.” To do so, her campaign will apparently focus on attacking the vaunted “one percent.”
“While many of you are working multiple jobs to make ends meet, you see the top 25 hedge fund managers making more than all America’s kindergarten teachers combined, and often paying a lower tax rate,” Clinton said, echoing a line she’d tried out in Iowa and New Hampshire.
“America can’t succeed unless you succeed,” she told viewers. “That is why I am running for president of the United States!”
Clinton remained vague on specific issues, though. For example, she vowed to “work with Congress,” but didn’t say whether she supports Obamatrade, just one day after it was wounded by a bipartisan coalition in the House of Representatives — exactly the sort of cooperation that’s been rare in the Obama era.
“The Middle Class needs more growth,” she explained. But, “is this possible in today’s world? I think it is, or I wouldn’t be standing here.” She vowed to “welcome the support of all Americans who want to go forward with us,” but never mentioned specific policies she’d attempt to implement to help those Americans.
Clinton hinted that specific economic proposals may be coming.
For now, Americans can take away from this rollout that she opposes “climate change” and favors “clean energy.” That she’ll try to make preschool available to every child in America. That “you should have the right to earn paid sick days.”
Perhaps the specifics will arrive in a future roll out. That would be something to look forward to.