Wednesday, January 21, 2015

In Winnipeg, Hillary Delivers Impressive Pre-Campaign Speech

With echoes of President Obama's State of the Union still ringing from last night, Hillary Clinton delivered what sure sounded like a pre-campaign speech today in Winnipeg.

Tackling topics ranging from immigration to the recent terror attack in Paris, it may have lacked the fiery rhetoric and rah-rah applause lines that we'll probably hear later this year, but it brought back enough memories of 2008 to suggest that she's ready to jump back into the fight without skipping a beat.

Eloquent progressivism, unparalleled grasp of the issues, and most of all, staggering's all there and ready to fully reemerge.

And no offense to any other politician, because all of them (Hillary included) sometimes need a script...but she did it all without the use of notes, teleprompters or a podium! Impressive.

Discussing wealth inequality, she suggested that last night's speech by the president was merely the opening Democratic salvo in a debate that will be front-and-center until Election Day:
A new report by the global charity, Oxfam, found that the eighty richest people in the world...not possess as much wealth as the poorest 3 1/2 billion people combined, and they predict that by next year, the top 1% of the wealthiest globally will own more than half of all the wealth on the planet.  
Now, in many countries, people are asking: How can we reverse this trend? How can we share prosperity more broadly and fairly? How can we relearn how to work together and to grow together? How do we make sure that new waves of immigrants enrich rather than embitter our communities? What will it take to give our young people the opportunities they need and deserve? 
I think that democracy, and the free market economy that goes hand-in-hand with democracy, has to take seriously these questions. And as we answer them, there's a lot we can learn from each other.
Here in Canada, for example, you've shown that the economic inequality that we see in the United States and many other countries it's not inevitable. Despite facing similar long-term challenges from globalization and automation, you've invested in your middle class and it's made a real difference. 
Last night, President Obama offered a vision for helping the middle class in the United States reclaim its seat at the table, and the proposals he offered are an important start for a critical debate. There is so much more to do to bring security and possibility to families struggling with stagnant wages and sinking hopes...
Of course, these words have gotten little notice compared to an unexpected solo comedy bit featuring her casual impersonation of Vladimir Putin. But she didn't need to go full Yakov Smirnoff to get a genuine laugh from the crowd.


Before leaving Winnipeg, she set aside some time for one more stop.
Clinton visited the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, leaving a message on a card in the "Inspiring Change" gallery on the museum's seventh level.  
"I imagine a future where human rights will be secure for everyone because all people stood up and spoke out for the freedom and dignity of each of us. We all must work toward that time together. HR Clinton. USA," she wrote on a card.
Watch the full speech and interview here.

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