Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton promised on Saturday to fight for a fairer society for ordinary Americans, staking
out a place on the left to cut off any budding challenge for the Democratic nomination.
In the first major rally of her campaign for the November 2016 presidential election, Clinton touched on many of the issues that energize liberal Democrats. She highlighted her support for gay marriage, women’s rights, income equality, clean energy and regulating Wall Street.
Speaking on New York’s Roosevelt Island, with Manhattan’s skyscrapers as a backdrop, Clinton promised to “make the economy work for everyday Americans, not just those at the top” if elected president.
The former secretary of state praised working families for leading America’s economic recovery after the financial crisis of 2008.
“You brought our country back. Now it’s time – your time to secure the gains and move ahead,” she told a crowd of several thousand supporters.
By far the front-runner to win the Democratic nomination for president, Clinton nevertheless faces some competition from the left, especially from liberal Bernie Sanders.
The independent senator from Vermont has drawn relatively large crowds at recent campaign events in Iowa, the state that kicks off the party’s nominating contests early next year.
The outdoor rally marked a change in gear for Clinton, who launched her election campaign in low-key fashion in April and has so far held small events with selected participants.
Clinton, wife of former President Bill Clinton and a former New York senator, has huge name recognition. But recent polls have shown a majority of voters find her untrustworthy after controversy about her use of a private email account while she was secretary of state and criticism of foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation.
In her 45-minute speech on Saturday, Clinton mentioned a series of economic proposals, including setting up an infrastructure bank, boosting child care, imposing fees and royalties on fossil fuel extraction and carrying out a reform of the tax code that would not benefit “quick trades or stashing profits overseas.”