The Emergence of Hillary Clinton, 2014 Cheerleader

Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP

 Hillary Clinton's speech before the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Conference on Friday afternoon was nearly cookie-cut from remarks she gave Thursday about economic inequality in the United States.

But this time around, her pitch about economic equality had more of a political bent. After being criticized for not stumping for Democratic candidates earlier in 2014, Clinton seems to finally be picking up the pom-poms and cheering for her party's candidates—particularly women candidates—if still just in her capacity as a civilian, not a candidate herself.

She also worked to prod women into action, in a midterm election cycle that typically sees flagging turnout from women and minorities. Between 2008 and 2010, voter turnout among unmarried women dropped 26 points. Clinton quoted Rep. Nancy Pelosi in her speech Friday: "When women vote, America wins."

Clinton also used her speech to reel off the names of the women running in hotly contested Senate, House, and state leadership races, focusing particularly on Wisconsin gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke.

"The midterms really matter," she told the crowd Friday. "It's a chance to elect Democrats who will fight every day to make sure our economy works for everyone."

Otherwise, Clinton stuck to her script and continued to beat the drum for more progressive policies to protect working mothers and victims of sexual assault. Here's a selection of the lyrics to Clinton's 2014 fight song:

  • On the DNC Women's Leadership Conference, which she founded with Tipper Gore 20 years ago: "We've brought the concerns and hopes and dreams of women from the margins to the mainstream of American public life."
  • On President Obama's record on women's issues: "This president has been a tireless advocate for women and families."
  • On the need for better child care services in the U.S.: When Clinton was an attorney in Arkansas, she struggled to find last-minute child care for Chelsea.
  • On workforce equity: "If we close the gap in workforce participation between men and women, our GDP would grow by nearly 10 percent by 2030."
  • On the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision: "It's a slippery slope when we turn over a woman's right to make her own health care decisions to her employer."
  • On gender equity in Congress: In Iowa last weekend, Clinton met with Staci Appel, a Democratic candidate who could become Iowa's first female representative elected to the House. Clinton had met Appel before, at a pork dinner seven years ago.
  • On Mary Burke, who is running against Gov. Scott Walker: "She is offering a choice between more angry gridlock and progress that will actually make a difference for Wisconsin families."
  • On Emma Sulkowicz, the Columbia University student who pledged to carry her mattress everywhere she goes until her alleged rapist leaves Columbia: "That image should haunt all of us, and i'm very pleased that President Obama is supporting a new effort to address sexual assault on campuses across the country."

Clinton will likely continue to trumpet her work to give women a leg up in the economy, pitting corporate interests against family interests. But for some progressives, she still has past sins to atone for.

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