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Campaign for America's Future's "Take Back America" Conference, June 12-14, 2006
June 13, 2006--"We have to take back the Congress in order to stop this administration and their unaccountable undermining of our constitutional democracy," Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) stated.  She declared, "I am tired of defining success by what we prevent.  It is time for us to start defining success by what we can build and what actions we can take based on that foundation."  The first three-quarters of Clinton's speech was chock full of progressive ideas ranging from voting integrity [S.450] and legislation that would tie the minimum wage to congressional salaries [S.2725] to reversing the bankruptcy bill and expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act.

In the latter part of her remarks Clinton laid out her carefully calculated position on Iraq.  "I do not think it is a smart strategy either for the president to continue with his open-ended commitment, which I think does not put enough pressure on the new Iraqi government, nor do I think it is smart strategy to set a date certain," she stated. 

Robert Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future, summed up the speech in an interview the next day, 

"The reporters are all reporting it as 'Liberals boo Hillary,' but I don't think that was the story yesterday.  What was interesting to me about what happened was she got a much better reception I think because she treated the crowd with such respect and because she reminded them on the front end of the speech how progressive she's been on different issues, from voting machines to childrens' issues to health care."
Borosage said that in his view Clinton "didn't convince anybody" on the subject of Iraq.  A conference attendee, Michael R.H. Swanson, professor of History and American Studies at Roger Williams University in Rhode Island, lauded the first part of Clinton's speech but said it was as if a curtain had been drawn when she addressed Iraq.


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Copyright © 2006  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action