الثلاثاء , يونيو 9 2020

Clinton sets off for campaign tour

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has set out for a tour of key states, at the start of her campaign to become the first woman US president.

She is taking a road trip to meet small groups of voters in Iowa, having announced her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination on Sunday.

She had been expected to declare her candidacy for months.

Mrs Clinton ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 but lost to Barack Obama.

‘Listening tour’

A few hours into her journey from New York to Iowa, Mrs Clinton tweeted: “Road trip! Loaded the van set off for IA. Met a great family when we stopped this afternoon. Many more to come. -H.”

An I'm Ready for Hillary sticker lays on a table during the Ready for Hillary rally in Manhattan, New York on 11 April 2015.

Mrs Clinton is expected to officially kick off her campaign with a rally in mid-May

Mrs Clinton’s team said she would spend the next few weeks building up grassroots support in the early Democratic primary states.

Her first rally, to officially kick off her campaign, is not expected until mid-May. But her trip to Iowa is to be a “listening tour” where Mrs Clinton will meet voters at low-key events.

Later this week, she is expected to meet groups of students, teachers and small business owners.

On Sunday, Mrs Clinton launched her campaign website and declared in a video that she was running for president.

“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times,” she said, “but the deck is still stacked in favour of those at the top.

She added that she wanted to be a champion for “everyday Americans”.

The video features a number of Americans talking about their hopes and aspirations.

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Analysis: Gary O’Donoghue, BBC News, Des Moines, Iowa

The launch of Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the presidency was meant to be low-key. It was meant to reflect the idea that it was all about ordinary Americans and the everyday concerns of the middle class.

But whether she likes it or not, Mrs Clinton is a huge name in politics and reinventing herself as the embodiment of change won’t be easy.

True, she is unlikely to face any stiff competition from her own side for the nomination, but Republicans have been unrelenting in their attacks on her and that will only increase.

She will also have to find a convincing vision for America that will capture the imagination of the voters. Elections are usually about the future and Mrs Clinton has to prove that she’s not all about the past.

How Twitter reacted

Is this Hillary Clinton’s time?

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Mrs Clinton has already had the backing of Mr Obama, who said on Saturday that she would make an “excellent president”.

But the attacks from Republicans have already started.

Jeb Bush, former Florida Governor and brother of George W Bush who expected to stand as a Republican candidate, tweeted: “We must do better than Hillary.”

In his own online video on Sunday, he focused on foreign policy, saying: “We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies.”

Another Republican presidential contender. Rand Paul, also criticised Mrs Clinton for her handling of a September 2012 attack on a US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, in which the US ambassador was among those killed.

He also said questions remained about funds received by a charity set up by Mr and Mrs Clinton.

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