By Robert Donachie
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is really sounding as if she is considering another bid for the presidency in 2020.
Clinton gave a campaign-style speech Friday at the American Federation of Teachers conference in Pittsburgh. Pennsylvania is a key swing state in presidential elections.
The former Democratic presidential candidate spent a great deal of time hammering the president for his temporary enforcement of a policy that separates children from their parents who immigrated to the U.S. illegally. Clinton also zoned in on the Republican campaigns to repeal and replace Obamacare and the 2017 tax reform bill, labeling it a giveaway to the wealthy and corporate interests.
Clinton kicked off the speech claiming the nation is on “the front lines” of some of the most urgent fights for “our nation’s future.”
“We have to gear up again, because the challenges we face now are truly unlike any that we’ve seen for quite some time,” Clinton told a crowd Friday. “We thought we had won. Now the pressures and forces against progress are stronger than ever. They control our government and they are determined to have their way.”
“I am very grateful for your support during the 2016 campaign and I’m even more grateful, however, that, here and now, you continue to stand up for the values we share,” Clinton said. “I believe with all my heart that the test of any society is how we treat the most vulnerable among us. Particularly, our youngest, our oldest, our people with disabilities. And right now my friends, our country is failing that test.”
She hasn’t made a formal announcement and claims she won’t run again, however, Democratic voters appear open to Clinton bid in 2020.
The former secretary of state wrote a book, “What Happened,” about her experience running for president against President Donald Trump in 2016. She, notably, wrote that she was finished with being a presidential candidate, but that she would continue to “speak out on the causes I care about, campaigning for other Democrats, and do whatever I can to build the infrastructure we need to succeed.”
A June Harvard CAPS and Harris’s poll found that Democrats rank Clinton their second choice for the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, just behind former Vice President Joe Biden.
Clinton said Friday that, under Trump and Republican leadership in Congress, “We have never seen such organized cruelty.”
“People used to hide the way they felt. They wouldn’t come right out and say what they were thinking, which was good. That is part of the process of civilization. But, boy, not today,” Clinton said.
Clinton detailed a list of things she finds cruel and un-American about the president’s and Republicans’ policies. She said Friday:
“Over the last 18 months, this administration has tried to rip away health coverage for millions and tried to end coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. They’ve given tax cuts for the wealthiest few and they’ve paid for them on the backs of children and working families. They’ve gutted funding for public schools and universities and they’ve rolled back protections against discrimination for students. And, unimaginably, they have ripped children away from their parents. They have forced toddlers as young as one-year-olds to appear in court. I find this beyond politics. The inhumanity of it. The disgrace, the indecency of it should incite all of us to know that we are not those people. But look at what else they have done. They tried just recently to block a World Health Organization resolution intended to raise awareness about the importance of breastfeeding babies. And why do they do these things? Ideology? Religion? Corporate power? They have a lot of rationals and excuses. But the net result is they are trying to rip the heart out of America. They want to turn us into transaction units … It is like a man eat man and woman eat woman society. They want to turn us against each other. They want to divide and conquer.”
The former secretary of state likened the U.S. at the current moment to the French Revolution, arguing the famous opening passage of Charles Dickens’ “A Tale of Two Cities,” is a perfect description for the state of the U.S.
“Dickens may have been writing about the years leading up to the French Revolution, but he might as well have been writing about this moment in America … Fundamental rights, civic virtue, even facts, reason and evidence are under assault,” Clinton said.
Clinton has been making a number of public appearances and speeches in recent months, in part due to her book tour. That, along with a recent New York Post article, have caused many to speculate whether or not she will make a formal run against Trump in 2020.
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