Hillary Clinton called to party duty ahead of 2016 presidential elections

DENVER (TIP): Hillary Clinton is used to being introduced as the “next” US president. But lacking any pre- 2016 announcement, the Democratic icon is busy putting her popularity to work for others in the party. For the second time in eight days, the “Hillary Tour” has come to embattled Colorado Senator Mark Udall’s patch. Last week, the pair publicly sat down for coffee in Denver.

She will visit three more states by the end of the week. It is part of a double-barrelled effort by Clinton and her husband and former president Bill Clinton, two of the most popular Democrats in America, to ride to the rescue of several incumbents facing particularly tough reelections in battleground states like Colorado, Louisiana, North Carolina and Bill’s home state of Arkansas. On Tuesday, Hillary stood before several hundred supporters at a suburban Denver hotel where she lauded fellow Democrats and launched an offensive against Republicans.

The candidates — for Senate, House of Representatives and governor — kept their stump speeches short, all too aware they were not the night’s featured attraction. “Are you ready to hear from the next president of the United States?” Democratic House candidate Andrew Romanoff called out by way of introducing Clinton. “I guess she just can’t stay away from Colorado, and we hope she’s going to come back a few more times in the next couple of years,” added Udall in an unveiled suggestion of another Clinton presidential run, which would no doubt bring her back to this strategic western state.

Clinton criticized Republicans for downplaying Democratic accomplishments and leadership. “It appears to me that the campaigns being run against (Democrats) are depending on the voters of Colorado having a mass case of amnesia,” she sniped, urging voters to support candidates who unite Americans. “Don’t vote for people who proudly tell you they will never compromise, don’t vote for people whose image of the future sounds awfully like the past,” she added.

Clinton’s sharpest arrows against Republicans addressed women’s rights. At her Clinton Foundation and as chief US diplomat she made humanitarian progress on rights an economic priority and point of common ground. But in the home stretch of a brutal election campaign, the tone was more partisan as she denigrated a Republican Party whose countless elected officials nationwide have pushed to restrict abortion rights and access to contraception. “Women’s rights here at home and around the world are clearly at risk unless people of good will, both women and men, regardless of political ideology, understand that women’s rights are like the canaries in the mine,” she said. “If women’s rights are denied or rolled back anywhere, it is a threat to everyone’s rights.” Hammering home the point, Clinton invoked her baby grand-daughter Charlotte, who was born last month.

Hillary has said she wanted to wait a few months after the birth to make a decision about her political aspirations — an announcement that is widely expected in early 2015. “You look at an infant, at this precious little baby, and you can’t help to think about our future, her future,” she said. Described as “intelligent” and “strong,” Clinton is likely to enjoy a historic presidential run, said activists who gathered in the hotel ballroom.

Most appeared unfazed about an extended wait for a candidacy they see as inevitable, but they hope an announcement comes sooner rather than later. “She needs to tell all of us what she’s going to do so we can then do what we need to do,” said Judy Taylor, a retired teacher eager to join a “Hillary” campaign. But Clinton, at least officially, remains focused on helping Democrats win on November 4 — even as each trip garners her political support that will be useful in any future presidential bid.

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