Hillary Clinton appealed to middle class and emphasises her chance to be the first female president of the United States on Saturday in her first major rally in New York City since announcing her presidential bid via a short video in April.
Clinton choose Roosevelt Island as the venue for her 45-minute speech as a symbol to emphasize her progressive promises on the island named after architect of the New Deal, the former Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who pulled the US out of Great Depression.
"Prosperity can't be just for CEOs and hedge fund managers," Clinton said, pointing income equality and appealing to the support of working families with New York City’s skyscrapers in the background
"You brought our country back, now it's time your time to secure the gains and move ahead."
Former secretary of state, first lady and Democratic senator from New York, she mentioned many ideas hailed by progressive Democrats such as universal pre-K education, increased regulation of the financial industry, paid sick leave and equal pay for women and campaign finance overhaul in her speech which was occasionally cut with applauses from the crowd of 5,500 people who came to listen to her.
In a manner showing her prowess to use words to make political points, Clinton emphasized her chance to become the first female president and at the same time answered her critics about her age.
“I may not be the youngest candidate, but I will be the youngest woman president in the history of the United States,” Clinton said, igniting cheers from a crowd which included many women and young voters.
Despite being considered as frontrunner for the Democratic nomination leading the polls ahead of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, Clinton was only holding small group meetings in early primary states so far but she is expected to go Iowa to continue her campaign with big rallies after Saturday.
In New York, however, she received some cold shoulder from several high profile members of her party, including New York CIty Mayor Bill de Blasio, who did not attend Clinton’s rally saying he expects the former first lady to come up with a “larger vision” to tackle income inequality.
Republican presidential hopefuls also used the event to take a swing at Hillary and draw media attention.
Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who is expected to announce his own presidential bid soon said “Clinton would be a third term of Obama's failed policies. Instead, we need new, fresh solutions," before the event.
“Now there may be some new voices in the presidential Republican choir, but they're all singing the same old song: A song called 'Yesterday,'" answered her republican critics.
"You know the one. All our troubles look as though they're here to stay, and we need a place to hide away. They believe in yesterday."