Hillary Clinton watch: What's behind Hillary's Big Issue speaking tour?
Hillary Clinton launches a major series of speeches on issues ranging from voting rights and 'transparency' in national security to US global leadership. Some see the prelude for a 2016 presidential run.
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As a result, the former first lady, who could face a 2016 primary field of contenders that includes Vice President Joe Biden, among others, suggested that Congress should move on proposals that would make it easier for citizens to get registered. She made a plea for "fair and uniform" identification standards, same-day registration, and improved security on electronic voting machines.Skip to next paragraph
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“We do – let’s admit it – have a long history of shutting people out: African-Americans, women, gays and lesbians, people with disabilities,” Clinton said, according to the Washington Post. “And throughout our history, we have found too many ways to divide and exclude people from their ownership of the law and protection from the law.”
Clinton, who left her post at the State Department in February, told her audience that “phantom” claims of widespread voter fraud prompted “a sweeping effort to construct new obstacles to voting” during the 2012 White House campaign. She said more than 80 bills have been introduced in 31 states limiting access to the polls; some require government-issued identification, for example.
Clinton did not mention the 2016 contest, but she doesn’t have to. Reporters do that for her.
The Los Angeles Times’ Mark Barabak called the ABA speech a continuation of Clinton’s “long, slow flirtation with the 2016 presidential campaign.”
There’s much more to come from Clinton, who upon leaving her post as head of the State Department initially suggested that she wanted some good rest and relaxation. Her idea of a hiatus from official public life seems to include regular headline-making engagements, however.
In Philadelphia next month, Clinton will tackle “the issue of transparency” in US national security policies. And she suggested Monday night that she will make an appearance later this year focused on “American’s global leadership and our moral standing around the world.”
“Obviously her upcoming speeches, and the topics that she announced, show a consistent seriousness of purpose,” says Tracy Sefl, a Washington-based Democratic consultant.
“Not that there's anything wrong with a steak fry or a state fair, after all, there's a role for those under the 2016 circus tent," she adds. "But for the tea leaf readers, it's the carefully chosen arc of issues she'll be addressing that says the most about what lies ahead.”
Clinton launched her 2000 US Senate race and 2008 presidential run with listening tours, efforts to highlight her accessibility and show she had a human touch. This year, her planned speaking series signals more of a "listen up!" tour.