Clinton asks if women want to see a female president
Mar. 04, 2015
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton credited women with making a difference at all levels of government, asking an audience of female Democrats, "Don't you someday want to see a woman president?"
On the cusp of a second presidential campaign, the former secretary of state previewed some of the economic themes that could animate an upcoming race, pointing to an economy that too often fails to address the challenges faced by families and working mothers.
"We have to get our economy to reflect the realities of 21st century America, and we're not doing that," Clinton said Tuesday night at the 30th anniversary gala of EMILY's List, an organization that works to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights. "We're not doing that when the hard work of men and women across our country is not rewarded with rising wages, but CEO pay goes up and up no matter what."
Clinton's 30-minute address was punctuated by references to her future. She noted that during one's life, "you get a chance to make millions of decisions. Some of them are big, like 'Do you run for office?'"
Looking out at the ballroom of female Democrats, Clinton asked if they were hopeful of seeing more women running for local offices like school board member, governor, mayor and member of Congress. "I suppose it's only fair to say, 'Don't you someday want to see a woman president?'" she asked, generating loud applause.
Clinton steered clear of questions that emerged Tuesday about her use of a personal email account instead of a government-issued email address during her time as secretary of state. Republicans seized on the disclosures, accusing her of violating a law intended to archive official government documents. Republican officials have also amplified reports that the Clinton Foundation accepted donations from foreign governments ahead of an expected Clinton campaign.
"It speaks volumes that Hillary Clinton will gladly attend fancy galas yet continue to hide from the American people," said Republican National Committee spokeswoman Allison Moore. She said voters deserved to know "why she only used private email while serving as secretary of state at the same time the Clinton Foundation accepted donations from foreign governments who were lobbying her State Department."
Polls show Clinton is the dominant front-runner among Democrats, and no one in the field of potential challengers is showing signs of electrifying the party the way Barack Obama did in 2008 when he beat Clinton for the nomination. The Republicans have a crowded field of prospective candidates, with no clear favorite.
The prospect of a Clinton campaign was invoked repeatedly by political leaders who have worked with the fundraising powerhouse, whose name is an acronym for "Early money is like yeast." The organization has a strong track record in Democratic politics, electing more than 100 women to the U.S. House, 19 to the Senate, 10 governors and more than 500 state and local officials.
"She's more than an idol," said Stephanie Schriock, EMILY's List's president, describing Clinton. "She's an inspiration — and a leader whose talents we desperately need."
The organization has helped lay the groundwork for a potential Clinton campaign, holding events to promote the possibility of electing the nation's first female president and commissioning polling.