Hilary Clinton’s campaign aims to champion causes for struggling Americans as she set out for White House

April 19, 2015 12:00 am
Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has given a taste of her policy ideas as she started her campaign in Iowa last week.
The
Democratic front-runner sketched out a broad vision, advocating
campaign finance reform to fix a “dysfunctional political system” and
getting rid of regulations that inhibit small businesses.
Clinton also defended President Barack Obama’s call for comprehensive immigration reform and the healthcare law.

Hillary Rodham Clinton. Photo / AP
Her
opening act is a listening tour through the early primary and caucus
states, and aides said she would start rolling out a detailed policy
agenda in late (northern) spring or summer.
Clinton is offering
herself as a champion of everyday Americans at a time of economic
renewal. But with deep anxiety coursing through the nation, she also is
trying to channel voters’ desire for change.
“People are struggling. We need to do more than just get by. We need to get ahead and stay ahead.”

So far Clinton has not pointed fingers at Obama but she did
say she wanted to change the tenor in Washington and “start breaking
down the divisions that have paralysed our politics”.
Andy Stern,
a former Service Employees International Union president, said Clinton
had come out with “a seemingly strong declaration that she’s for Main
Street”. He singled out her support for free community college for
qualified students, an Obama priority.
“The thematics are
impressive and pretty clean. The policies and the people will tell the
next chapters of the story,” Stern said. He wanted to see whether
Clinton was open to fresh, progressive thinking or whether the centrist
economists from her husband’s administration would have her ear.
Clinton
is in what aides call a “ramp-up phase”, road testing only broad policy
themes, giving her campaign team time to craft detailed proposals.
The Clinton campaign also sent word last week it was abandoning Obama’s policy of refusing campaign cheques from lobbyists.
Obama’s
unprecedented success with small donors, helped enable him to bypass a
previously vital source of funds – the bundling of campaign
contributions by lobbyists. Excluding lobbyists from peak fundraising
also meant shutting them out of valuable perks such as private briefings
from senior campaign aides or an ambassadorship.
More than $2billion is expected to be raised for the 2016 presidential contest – and the final sum could be much higher.

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