Hillary Clinton’s not a fighter – she’s a uniter.
That’s her line as she’s returned to the political stage in recent weeks, campaigning and fundraising for Virginia gubernatorial hopeful Terry McAuliffe, making a sales pitch that political watchers agree is as much about her as it is her old friend.
And while she hasn’t name-checked Republicans or President Obama, her message has been clear: the era of governing-by-crisis would end if she were in charge.
“Recently in Washington, unfortunately, we have seen examples of the wrong kind of leadership, when politicians choose scorched earth instead of common ground,” Clinton said at her first McAuliffe event last week.
Her re-emergence has already been welcomed with open-arms in the world of big money Democrats. George Soros committed last week to give $25,000 to the “Ready for Hillary” PAC.
And now she’s taking her message out West – to Beverly Hills, where she will fundraise for McAuliffe in front of the very crowd she needs to convince to back her in a 2016 run.
The visit to California will be an early test of whether her bipartisan platform will appeal to a key piece of the party’s base she has struggled to win over in the past. She’ll need to convince the creative class that she’s the best candidate to fix a deeply divided Washington - and country.
For now, it’s been appealing in the purple state of Virginia, with a crowd chanting her name even though they were supposed to be there for McAuliffe.
She’s also done a test run at a speech at the University of Buffalo last week.
A day before hammering home her love for those who say they fight for progressive values, she told the crowd in Buffalo that an ideal 2016 presidential candidate would “isolate the extreme voices and allow the vast majority of American voices to be heard” in politics, as clear a reference to the movement conservative faction that has driven recent political crises.
And then she pulled out similar language at an event for the 10th anniversary of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank with deep ties to the Obama administration.
At the CAP event, she paired the lines with repeated calls for “progressive” change – an early attempt to win over a group that Clinton struggled to win over progressives during the 2008 primary and already she faces a hurdle with them.
Progressive activists are buzzing about Elizabeth Warren, who is known as a middle class activist and founder of a consumer protection bureau.
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