NEW YORK CITY, New York — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton re-launched her 2016 presidential campaign on Roosevelt Island in New York City on Saturday, and during the event—and lead-up to it—Clinton showed her presidential campaign’s strength and her resilience as a politician.
This time, she didn’t go for broke to look like she’s an “ordinary American.” She embraced her most presidential attributes—her power, her connections, and her celebrity—essentially challenging anyone else to pull off something as significant.
Dark clouds—and what looked like would have been a torrential downpour—formed in the sky above the event, but shortly before Clinton’s speech the sun came back out shining brightly.
The event drew a larger crowd than any other presidential campaign launching by a Republican or Democrat thus far this cycle, with at least 5,000 people showing up to support the former U.S. Senator from New York and former First Lady who went on to become Secretary of State to President Barack Obama after a failed 2008 White House bid. The campaign did have two overflow areas, both of which didn’t fill up with people. After the Drudge Report posted photos about the empty overflow areas, Clinton campaign staffers—making their only hiccup of the full day—scrambled to fill one of the two right behind press risers with people. Other than that, the stage crafting by Clinton’s team—the most important thing she needed to show—was impeccable.
The event opened with star power, as Echosmith of “Cool Kids” fame played several songs live on stage, and in between other warm-up speeches and opening acts, “Top 40″ music including songs from country-turned-pop star Taylor Swift played, firing up the audience. One such opening act, as a sign of Clinton’s brazen disregard for Republican cries for law enforcement—and as pretty much an insult to Republican presidential hopefuls former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who still support amnesty for illegal aliens—was delivered by an illegal alien.
Echosmith took the stage after illegal alien DREAMer Andrea Gonzales, who currently resides in Houston, Texas, after illegally entering the United States.
The “Cool Kids” song seems to be exactly what message Clinton’s campaign is aiming to send to the whole country: You can resist all you want, but Hillary is the coolest, most popular, totally-going-to-inevitably-win-in-2016 politician, and it’s trendier to support her right now rather than later after her victory.
Echosmith lead singer Sydney Sierota asked the crowd: “Who’s excited to see Hillary Clinton today?”
The crowd went wild.
“We are too—we’re so happy to be here and be here with iHeart Radio as well, so let’s make some noise,” Sierota said.
Clinton’s campaign took over Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island for what it’s billing as its official presidential launch, but what really amounts to a redo since her first couple months haven’t gone well. Dominating the southernmost third of the two-mile long island, Clinton’s team had a heavy New York Police Department and security presence, with metal detectors, mags, and other security checks verifying general attendance tickets as well as all press. NYPD even had boats patrolling the river on both sides of the island.
Taylor Swift’s song “Shake It Off,” which played right after Echosmith left the stage, very well could embody what Clinton is trying to do with the several serious scandals and unserious, staged, and non-genuine first couple months of her campaign.
She’s aiming to present herself, as the Clintons have throughout history, as unfazed by the litany of problems—the latest being everything from Benghazi to her private email account to the revelations sparked by Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Peter Schweizer’s Clinton Cash book—that have plagued her early on. What’s more, she’s angling to present herself as a serious presidential candidate who can and will win—and doing unserious things like her cheesy sunglasses-on-inside Chipotle visit or riding around in the so-called “Scooby” van, she clearly now understands, only serve to undercut her presidential aspirations as everyone laughs at her phony attempts normalcy.
She picked Four Freedoms Park because it allows her to draw comparisons between Eleanor Roosevelt—and Franklin Delano Roosevelt—and herself.
“To be in New York with my family, with so many friends, including many New Yorkers who gave me the honor of serving them in the Senate for eight years,” Clinton said, opening her speech. “To be right across the water from the headquarters of the United Nations, where I represented our country many times. To be here in this beautiful park dedicated to Franklin Roosevelt’s enduring vision of America, the nation we want to be. And in a place… with absolutely no ceilings. You know, President Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms are a testament to our nation’s unmatched aspirations and a reminder of our unfinished work at home and abroad. His legacy lifted up a nation and inspired presidents who followed. One is the man I served as Secretary of State, Barack Obama, and another is my husband, Bill Clinton.”
Clinton painted herself as a champion of blue collar Americans—even though she’s not by or of that class—against special interests–even though she is of that class.
“President Roosevelt called on every American to do his or her part, and every American answered,” Clinton said. “He said there’s no mystery about what it takes to build a strong and prosperous America: ‘Equality of opportunity… Jobs for those who can work… Security for those who need it… The ending of special privilege for the few… The preservation of civil liberties for all… a wider and constantly rising standard of living.’ That still sounds good to me.”
“It’s America’s basic bargain,” she continued. “If you do your part you ought to be able to get ahead. And when everybody does their part, America gets ahead too. That bargain inspired generations of families, including my own. It’s what kept my grandfather going to work in the same Scranton lace mill every day for 50 years. It’s what led my father to believe that if he scrimped and saved, his small business printing drapery fabric in Chicago could provide us with a middle-class life. And it did.”
She noted how her husband and Obama have both “honored the bargain” that Roosevelt put forward. When Bill Clinton did as president, “we had the longest peacetime expansion in history, a balanced budget, and the first time in decades we all grew together, with the bottom 20 percent of workers increasing their incomes by the same percentage as the top 5 percent.”
“When President Obama honored the bargain, we pulled back from the brink of Depression, saved the auto industry, provided health care to 16 million working people, and replaced the jobs we lost faster than after a financial crash,” she said.