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What’s Hillary Clinton’s vision for her presidential bid?

Hillary Clinton announced her 2016 presidential bid on Sunday. For more on her run for the presidency, Dan Balz, chief political correspondent for The Washington Post, joins Hari Sreenivasan.

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    For more about Hillary Clinton's run for the presidency, we are joined now from Washington by one of the nation's top political reporters, Dan Balz, a chief correspondent of The Washington Post.

    So what is the vision that Hillary Clinton wants to lay out?

  • DAN BALZ, Chief Political Reporter, The Washington Post:

    Based on everything we know about Hillary Clinton's life and life story, she's going to talk a lot about middle class, middle-class income security, economic mobility, income inequality, but not in a hard-edged way.

    We know that that was the focus certainly of the eight Clinton years when her husband was president.

    Everything she said in the run-up over the last 18 months as she has gotten ready to become a formal candidate points in that direction. So, I think that's part of it.

    And then I think the second is, she has always had a more muscular foreign policy than some others in the Democratic Party.

    And I think that is one of the questions, given all of the turmoil in the Middle East and elsewhere, how she will address that.


    Is there a difference now, I guess eight years later, than the Hillary that was running against Barack Obama and perhaps a different strategy, where, at that time, maybe she had different goals in mind of establishing her credibility, versus now, she's kind of got that? She was the secretary of state.


    When she ran eight years ago, one of the things that one of her advisers suggested was she needed to be — to project kind of a Margaret Thatcher image, you know, the Iron Lady image from Thatcher's days as prime minister in Britain.

    I don't think she's in that position today. She has been secretary of state, as you say.

    And I think that, at this point, everything suggests that what she needs to do or wants to do is project a different kind of personality and persona on the campaign trail, warmer, friendlier, more — closer to the ground.

    Her first trip to Iowa, which will take place in a couple of days, is likely to feature almost entirely small events, intimate gatherings, not big rallies, no presumptiveness on the campaign trail and I think that she wants to be able to suggest to people, to voters, that she is accessible, that she understands them.

    That this is not kind of a privileged march through a coronation, but something in which she's going to get her hands dirty trying to connect with voters.


    And Iowa was one of the places that she didn't necessarily connect with voters last time.


    No, absolutely.

    And I have been in and out of Iowa half-a-dozen times over the last year and talked to people, including a lot of Democratic activists.

    And they remember that campaign with very mixed views, the sense that both Secretary Clinton and, in fact, a lot of the senior staff from the national campaign around her didn't pay proper attention, did not campaign in the way Iowans like.

    Iowans expect a lot of hands-on campaigning. And she didn't do that very well. She did not like the caucus process, which is a bit of an arcane process. She came away with that with a bad taste in her mouth. I think she wants to erase a lot of those feelings that she has a disdain for Iowa or Iowans or the Iowa process.


    So, this doesn't happen in a vacuum.

    Tomorrow, we're expecting Marco Rubio to announce his intention for the candidacy.

    So, she has already been getting critiques from Republicans and conservatives before she even launches. And at the same time, she's also taking a little bit of heat or lack of support from progressives, who think, perhaps, she's not left enough.


    I think it will be very difficult for her ever to quite satisfy the progressives in the party.

    She's probably not going to go as far as they would like.

    She will tip somewhere in their direction. I think she is somewhat to the left of her husband in their views on economic policy issues.

    But she will also very much be the target, as you suggest, of all of the Republican candidates. They will tie her to the criticisms they have been making already of President Obama's foreign policy.

    They will talk about things she has or hasn't done as secretary of state.

    They will try to hold that record up to great scrutiny. She's going to get a ton of criticism. I mean, she stands very — you know, significantly in the political landscape as, in many ways, a dominant figure.

    And she will draw attacks from all sides.

    And within her own party, she won't be able to satisfy everybody. And among the Republicans, they will — they will tee off on her, as they have already indicated they're planning to do.


    All right, Dan Balz of The Washington Post, thanks so much.


    Thank you, Hari.

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