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Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton wows 'um at the Maggie Awards at Benaroya Hall.
Photo and audio by Chris Kornelis. Click here for an

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HillaryLand?

clintonbutton.jpg
Presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton wows 'um at the Maggie Awards at Benaroya Hall.
Photo and audio by Chris Kornelis. Click here for an audio slideshow of the event.

Listen here to Hillary's speech.

For more coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign, see SW's reports on local appearances from:

Al Gore
John Edwards
Barack Obama
John McCain

She's not leading the pack for nothing. Clinton breezed into fickle Seattle for her first 2008 campaign appearance and nailed it. Sure, she's not as exciting as Obama, and doesn't have that Southern Edwards charm, but she delivered a textbook-perfect stump speech and did it with poise. I've long thought she was in her element on the Senate floor (and had hoped, frankly, that she'd stay there), but the comfort and command she displays in D.C. was far eclipsed by the ease she exuded tonight.

The speech was boilerplate stuff, four goals: restore America's leadership around the world; rebuild a strong and prosperous middle class; reform government (fix the damage done by Bush/Cheney); reclaim the future for "our" children.

She outlined a handful of specific policy initiatives: $50 billion for new clean, green energy initiative (paid for by rolling back oil subsidies); affordable health care coverage for everyone; a universal pre-kindergarten program; reverse the ban on ethical stem cell research-- something Clinton says she'll do her first day in office.

She spoke to a primarily Baby Boomer audience that agreed with audible "mmm hmms" when she said: "This election is a call to our generation. We don't want to be the first generation to leave the country worse than we found it." 

If Clinton drew a distinction between herself and fellow Democratic front-runner Barack Obama with the age thing, she also drew a page from his play book with this observation: "Americans are desperate to turn the page." And this: "Americans are ready for a change." But Clinton was also quick to remind folks that she's been there before. "I have no allusions about how hard it is," she said about the presidency. "It's especially hard."

She was almost funny. Delivering this with a wink and a nod: "I live in dread of discovering what we'll find when they leave town. I don't think we know the half of it." And this: "The era of the cowboy presidency is over."

Sure, she started the speech with that droney-robot voice, but by the end she was casual, almost whispering from the podium about 95-year-old women telling her they're going to live the see America elect the first woman president and ended pitching a chance to "make history." "I worry that our children aren't going to live in the America that we took for granted. . . . Send a message to the world that America's back."

Clinton might do just that. 

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Click here for an audio slideshow of the event. 

 
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