Clinton on 1,000-mile first leg of race for presidency
Ms Clinton, who is seeking to become America’s first female president, announced her candidacy on Sunday and left on a roughly 1,000-mile trip from her New York home to Iowa, the Midwestern state that kicks off the long, state-by-state contest for the Democratic nomination.
In a video message announcing her candidacy, she promised to serve as the “champion” of every day Americans in a country with growing income inequality.
Ms Clinton appears unlikely to face a formidable Democratic opponent in the primary elections. Should she win the nomination, she would face the winner of a crowded Republican primary field.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, a favourite among libertarians, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz, a champion of the right-wing tea party movement, have already entered the Republican race. Cuban-American Senator Marco Rubio of Florida is expected to announce his bid to be the first Hispanic president.
Republicans are already trying to counter the former first lady’s strong CV by casting her as someone who is not trustworthy.
They have jumped on her use of a personal rather than a government email account and a server located in her home while she was President Barack Obama’s first secretary of state.
They have also raised questions about donations from foreign governments to the Clinton family’s foundation.
Some Republicans sought to make foreign policy an issue at a time when the Obama administration is negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran and moving to restore diplomatic relations with Cuba.
“We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies,” said former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in his own online video. Mr Bush, the brother and son of former presidents is widely expected to join the race for the Republican nomination.
The criticism came with an added request for donations.
Mr Bush encouraged supporters to donate to a fundraising appeal to help him stop Ms Clinton’s “liberal agenda”. Mr Paul started selling “Hillary’s Hard Drive” on his website, a not-so-subtle reference to the email and server controversy.
Unlike eight years ago, when she ran and lost the Democratic nomination to Mr Obama, Ms Clinton and her personal history were not the focus of the first message of her campaign.
She made no mention of her time in the Senate and her four years as secretary of state, or her potential to make history as the nation’s first female president.
Instead, the video is a collection of voters talking about their lives, their plans and aspirations for the future.
“Every day Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion,” Ms Clinton said.