Following is a version of what I would like to hear Hillary Rodham Clinton say as she announces her Presidential campaign. A campaign that will lead this brilliant accomplished woman to being sworn in as the nation's 45th President.
"Today I announce my candidacy for President of the United States of America; a candidacy in which I hope the American people will see themselves and join me as together we build a brighter future for ourselves and our children. I will meet with you in your homes and where you work, and through technology online in many forms, and listen to your ideas, your hopes and dreams and share with you my vision for America. An America in which everyone has an equal opportunity for a quality education, a good paying job and can once again have their hard work rewarded. A future where every parent can again know their children can aspire to an even better life.
Together we have come through a difficult time in America. We have suffered economic hardship but America is once again moving forward and our economy is ready to soar. But you and I know this economy is still not benefiting everyone. There is a huge inequality in pay and while the rich grow richer the poor and middle class continue to struggle. Our challenge is to turn our economy into one which benefits all of us. Together we can do that. We will find the right balance between Wall Street and Main Street which doesn't exist today. We must ease the debt burden for our students saddled with massive college loans; raise the minimum wage; strengthen and fix the Affordable Care Act; create jobs through rebuilding our infrastructure; ease regulations on small businesses which provide so many of our jobs; and ensure a more equitable tax code.
As most of you know I grew up in a Republican home with a strong father who loved me but who I once referred to as 'diversity challenged' because of some of his social views. My mother, an amazing woman, suffered many hardships in her life and maybe because of them taught me to be an independent woman. She said if I worked hard anything was possible. So I did and attended Wellesley College and Yale law school and enrolled at the Yale Child Study Center, where I took courses on children and medicine and completed one post-graduate year of study. During college I spent my summers working first in D.C. on then U.S. Senator Walter Mondale's sub-committee on migrant workers and the following summer in the western states campaigning for George McGovern. I was fascinated with politics and the workings of government because if done right it could help make life better for people.
I met the man who would be my husband in law school. You may have heard of him, Bill Clinton. He convinced me to follow him home to Arkansas and in 1975 asked me to marry him. Through all the years of our marriage which has played out on the public stage we have been each other's best friend and this year are celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary. This past year our daughter Chelsea and her husband Marc made us proud grandparents. And like you so much of what I do is because I want to make this world a little better and a little safer for our children and grandchildren. I want the opportunities I had and was able to give Chelsea for every child. That is not always the case across America today. There are still many impediments to achieving their full potential for women, African Americans, the LGBT community and immigrants ready to work hard, pay their fair share in taxes and learn our language; those who want to participate fully in the economy.
Obviously my election would make history. It would say to every young girl and boy that in America we do have an equal opportunity to succeed. But remember there are already 22 women Presidents and Prime Ministers leading nations from Germany to Malta. So I won't ask for your vote just because I am a woman; rather over the next months as I campaign for the Democratic nomination and hopefully in the general election; you will hear from me why I believe my life has prepared me to be your President and how my experiences have shaped my vision for America's future, our future.
America must continue to provide leadership in the world which is increasingly more complex and dangerous. We have the greatest military in the history of the world yet we cannot be the sole protector of the world. We must keep our military strong as a deterrent to war but we must be guided by what I have called 'smart power'. A president has many levers of power to wield in providing leadership and using the military is just one. We must use our economic strength and an agile diplomacy leaving the military only as a last resort. I will never send our brave young men and women into harm's way if there is another way to keep ourselves and our world safe and free. My foreign policy will include standing up for human rights; advancing the rights and role of women and girls; and creating the space for a flourishing civil society and the conditions for broad-based economic development across the globe.
Over the years working with the Children's Defense Fund, as Chair of the Legal Services Corporation, a private practice attorney, Chelsea's mom, and a partner in life with Bill; my life's experiences have molded and changed me as yours have you. They taught me life is often a series of compromises. They also taught me if I kept my moral compass and kept faith with my principles I could still work successfully with others who might think differently. My parents and my church taught me while I might view the world a little differently from the person sitting in the pew beside me, god loved us both.
As the Senator from New York for six years and Secretary of State for four, my understanding of the value of negotiation and compromise grew stronger and taught me wisely it was a way to move my vision forward. There are things on which I won't compromise but can still respect and work with those who disagree with me. I believe passionately in a woman's right to choice and to control her own body and healthcare; that gay, lesbian and transgender individuals are entitled to the same human and civil rights we all have including a loving relationship and the right to civil marriage. We are a nation of immigrants and we must provide a path to citizenship for those who are here now and want to help make our country all it can be. I also understand while we have laws securing equal rights for women and African Americans our responsibility doesn't end there. We must continue the work of changing the culture to ensure all our laws are upheld equally. We must see an end to the unequal application of justice and to the continued pay disparity between women and men in the same jobs. We must stop penalizing women in the work-force when they have children and ensure both parents have time to care for their children because those children are our future. We must pay heed to the research showing us if we read, sing, and talk to our children from birth to age five they will have an exponentially greater chance to succeed in school and in life.
While government cannot be responsible to care for us from cradle to grave, in addition to government's role for providing for the health and safety of America we can care for our neighbors when the church or community cannot, or will not. There must be a safety net and a hand up when needed.
We must guarantee the future of Social Security and Medicare for seniors. We must promote and fund early childhood education including Head Start and promote government/private partnerships to reduce homelessness and create job training programs for those looking for a first job or changing jobs because of new technology. We need a robust research program including basic science that will make our lives and the world a safer, better place; and we need to use the results of that research and science to guide us as we develop policies and programs to clean up our environment and stop our contribution to climate change.
So I see this campaign as a discussion with voters over the future of America and hope we can make this election different. Let's not base it only on 60 second TV commercials. Instead let us call on the media to help us make a change. We are fortunate in America to have a free press whose role is to share what is happening in our government and around the world so you can make informed decisions. So let's ask the press to be vigilant in exploring my views and statements on policy and those of the other candidates. Compare them and share them fully so you the voter can make informed decisions. Ask me and all candidates the tough questions on why we believe our policies will make for a better future for America and why we believe our experience and understanding of the world makes us the right person to be President. Challenge me, but maybe not so much on the color of my pants suits or my new hairstyle.
In many ways this election is about the heart and soul of America. We can once again be the land of opportunity for all; once again welcome those 'huddled masses yearning to breathe free' to our shores; once again become the America where John F. Kennedy could say, "Let us not ask what America can do for us but rather what we can do for America."
We can do all this if we stand and work together. We can accomplish miracles when we recognize we stand on the shoulders of those who have come before us; Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., John F. and Robert Kennedy, Sojourner Truth, Cesar Chavez, Susan B. Anthony and so many others. We must build on their accomplishments to guarantee a brighter future for all. America is truly a beautiful land from 'sea to shining sea' and that will never be truer than when it becomes a land of equal opportunity for all. So today I ask you to join me on this journey and hope it will lead you to place your trust in me to lead this great nation of ours into a better and brighter future."