Hillary Clinton back in limelight with women empowerment speech

Updated
Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appear onstage at the Vital Voices Global Partnership 2013 Global Leadership...
Vice President Joe Biden and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton appear onstage at the Vital Voices Global Partnership 2013 Global Leadership...
Cliff Owen/AP Photo

It’s hard to stay out of the spotlight if you’re Hillary Clinton.

The former Secretary of State re-emerged from two months of r-and-r Tuesday night at the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at Washington, D.C.’s Kennedy Center. While Clinton limited her prepared statements to the  mission of empowering women and girls worldwide, her presence was enough to stoke speculation about another run for the presidency—especially since she shared the stage with Vice President Joe Biden, thought to be her leading rival for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Clinton praised Biden, particularly for his push to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which after a lengthy struggle with congressional Republicans was ratified earlier this year. “Vice President Biden and I have worked together on so many issues,” Clinton said, citing the fight against domestic violence as “one specifically close to his heart.”

Biden, for his part, drew huge applause when he told the crowd of two thousand, “There’s no woman like Hillary Clinton and that’s a fact.”

Clinton also praised her friend of four decades, and her Vital Voices co-founder, Melanne Verveer. Verveer, Clinton’s former chief of staff during her time as First Lady, served in the Department of State as the inaugural Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues. President Obama made the position permanent after Clinton’s exit from the State Department earlier this year.

“She was there with me and thousands of rain drenched activists in Beijing in 1995,”Clinton said, before reprising a line from her ground-breaking speech as First Lady. “The voices of women could not be denied: Human rights are women’s rights, and women’s rights are human rights.”

Clinton’s speech, and the rousing ovation that accompanied it—plus supporters with signs reading “Ready for Hillary,” a nod to a Super-PAC formed in her name to support any future presidential run—did little to tamp down speculation about a 2016 bid.

“I think she can do whatever she sets her mind to doing,” Verveer said on Andrea Mitchell Reports Tuesday afternoon about whether Clinton has the stamina and desire to place herself at the center of another grueling presidential campaign.

Tuesday’s Vital Voices event marked the start of Clinton’s latest public speaking circuit as a private citizen. She will make the keynote address at Friday’s Newsweek/Daily Beast “Women in the World” summit in New York City Friday before giving her first paid speech at in Dallas before the National Multi Housing Council.

Watch Andrea Mitchell’s report on the TODAY show below: 

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Hillary Clinton back in limelight with women empowerment speech

Updated