In news that surprised hardly any political observer, Hillary Rodham Clinton officially announced her campaign to be the next president of the United States.
On Sunday, Clinton’s campaign team released a two-minute video featuring groups of American families sharing personal stories about their plans to take on new endeavors. Ninety seconds into the video, Clinton appeared on screen to announce her campaign.
“Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion,” she said.
Clinton’s opening message highlighted the importance of income inequality to her campaign.
“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” she said in the video.
For the students involved in Penn for Hillary, an advocacy group for Clinton’s campaign, the announcement serves as a call to action.
“We are very ecstatic. We have been waiting for this movement for ten months. Ever since canvassing a summer ago, we have been waiting for this moment,” College sophomore and co-founder of Penn for Hillary Emily Irani said.
Irani and fellow College sophomore Mitchell McVeigh founded Penn for Hillary at the beginning of the fall semester. Their group has been advocating for Clinton’s nomination all year by hosting speakers and drawing awareness to her campaign.
“We want to try to increase support for Hillary on campus, whether it’s [by] convincing people that Hillary is the best candidate or increasing voter turnout,” McVeigh said.
The group’s members also plan to meet Clinton’s campaign staff to further combine their efforts. They anticipate making a trip to Washington, D.C., in the near future to facilitate more coordination.
“We want to get involved with the campaign. We want to participate in phone banks and reach out wherever the campaign wants and needs us,” Irani said.
Penn for Hillary also hopes to capitalize on the attention the Democratic primary has brought to Philadelphia — which will host the Democratic National Convention in 2016 — while still remaining cautious about her electoral chances.
“Just because Hillary declared does not mean she has the nomination by any means. Up until she gets enough delegates, all of our work for Penn for Hillary will be separate from the DNC,” McVeigh said.
Clinton, who lost the 2008 Democratic nomination for president to Barack Obama, will face much less visible opposition in 2016.
Various polls place her well atop the sparse Democratic field of candidates. An April 2 poll conducted by ABC News and the Washington Post had Clinton leading the Democratic field with 66 percent of the vote, 54 points ahead of the second-place candidate, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who recently announced that she was not seeking the nomination.
Clinton’s challengers from the Republican Party include Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul so far. The Republican National Committee has already publicly opposed Clinton’s campaign on Friday with the release of a 30-second advertisement entitled #StopHillary. The video highlighted controversies that Republicans will likely target during the campaign, including Clinton’s response to the shootings in Benghazi, Libya and her use of a private email account as former secretary of state.
Without any other declared Democratic challengers, Clinton currently has the stage.
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