Hillary Clinton officially announced Sunday that she would run for President in 2016, confirming the worst-kept secret in politics in a new commercial that the former First Lady unveiled just minutes after her campaign chairman John D. Podesta sent an email to supporters stating “I wanted to make sure you heard it first from me – it’s official: Hillary’s running for president.”
Despite the rumors about how Clinton would announce her candidacy – she was expected to kick off her campaign Sunday in Des Moines, Iowa, home of the Democratic caucus, while Saturday Night Live predicted that Clinton would shoot a selfie – the former Secretary of State instead took to YouTube to debut her first campaign ad, titled “Getting Started.” In the video Clinton hints at some of the issues that she’ll fight for as President: The strengthening of the middle class, pay equity, better education, helping small business owners and supporting gay marriage.
“I’m getting ready to do something too. I’m running for president,” Clinton says. “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times. But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion. So you can do more than just get by, you can get ahead and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong. So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote. Because it’s your time, and I hope you’ll join us on this journey.”
“[Clinton’s] committed to spending the next six to eight weeks in a ‘ramp up’ period where her team will start to build a nation-wide grassroots organization, and she will spend her time engaging directly with voters,” the Clinton campaign said in a statement (via CNN). “In May, once her supporters in all 50 states are organized for house parties or to watch over live streams, Hillary will hold her first rally and deliver the speech to kick off her campaign.” Clinton also changed her Twitter avatar to reflect her new campaign.
Clinton will embark to Iowa and New Hampshire in the near future to meet with voters, the New York Times reports, with a formal campaign kickoff event scheduled for May. Symbolically, Iowa was also the scene in 2008 where both Barack Obama and John Edwards defeated Clinton, then considered the Democratic presidential frontrunner, in the primaries. However, no serious Democratic candidates have yet to emerge for next year’s elections – Clinton held a 50 point lead over Vice President Joe Biden in one poll, CNN reports – making Clinton the clear favorite for the nod going into 2016.