When Hillary Clinton spoke about women's economic issues last week at the Center for American Progress in Washington, the attuned listener might have caught a few phrases that sounded familiar. Laments about the fiscal plight of waitresses, bartenders, and hair stylists. The need for Americans to not only be able to get to the middle class, but stay there.
That's because they had appeared during another Washington speech that Clinton gave, to the New America Foundation in May, a speech filled with new rhetoric that might not have been fully appreciated then for what it was: a first look at what her economic message in 2016 might be. People close to Clinton refuse to connect the themes of those two speeches to her nascent (and not yet official) 2016 presidential campaign. The official line is she remains undecided on whether to run at all. But those close to her told TPM these are issues she's worked on for a long time and would likely continue to focus on in the future.
In these two speeches are echoes of her failed run in 2008 and more distant echoes from her husband's campaigns in the '90s. But in the context of a 2016 bid, if you want a first peek at what her prospective presidential message would look like, then that is where you should start. They aren't fully formed policy prescriptions just yet. They are closer to rationales for her running again this time. But she is honing her rhetoric and a few themes are starting to crystallize that could become the basis for cohesive message that pulls together her personal biography, her political priorities, and specific policy proposals.
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