Hillary For President Week 1: 5 Big Things You May Have Missed

Photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images.
It's been just over a week since Hillary Clinton declared her intention to run for president. Since then, she's kept a low(ish) profile, giving no big interviews or statements to the press. Instead, she took a road trip to Iowa and New Hampshire in the big black vehicle she's calling her "Scooby" van, and chatted with people in cafes and coffee shops.
 
It was a relatively quiet week, but revealed a lot of what we an expect from her campaign. Here's what you might have missed.

She's picking four big fights.
There are more than four pressing national issues — there are more than four pressing conflicts in the Middle East — but Clinton's honing in on four. In Iowa, she identified her "four big fights" as follows:

- Improving the national economy 
- Strengthening families and communities
- Campaign finance reform
- National security
  
What will those fights actually entail? There's no way to know, because she hasn't laid out specifics. But, based on her record, we can expect to hear a lot about stopping unlimited donations to super PACs from anonymous donors, helping the "middle class" afford child care and college costs, and military intervention in conflicts involving Islamic militants. 

She's a grandma who hangs out with regular folks. 
Since Clinton hit the national spotlight in the early '90s, she's been criticized for being inauthentic and overly calculating. If you've watched the latest impression of her on SNL, you know that this is still how she's characterized.  

Clinton's first weeks on the road were filled with appearances at coffee shops, community colleges, and manufacturing plants — all great locations for a folksier approach. At one stop in Iowa, she said,“There’s something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers I saw on I-80 as I drove here the past few days.” And, in New Hampshire, she couldn't stop talking about her infant granddaughter and her experience with families. "My whole adult life and volunteer work has been around children and families," she said

She's criticizing the rich. Or, most of them, anyway. 
Clinton told a crowd in New Hampshire that “the deck is stacked” to help the wealthy, and that her job “is to reshuffle the cards” for those stuck at the bottom, The New York Times reported. She's made lots of similar statements, testing out how to sell herself to voters who are worried about record levels of inequality, crushing student debt, and the growing segment of the workforce struggling to survive on low-wage service jobs. 

There's just one little trouble area she hasn't yet broached: Clinton herself is extremely wealthy, infamous for charging $200,000 per speech. Plus, Democrats, including her husband, former President Bill Clinton, haven't had the best record recently when it comes to addressing economic issues. Not to mention there are many bankers and business titans who support her. (Though maybe not as many as those ready to rally behind whoever winds up as her opponent.) 

She's getting ready for her latest scandal.
There are an absurd number of Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories. With memories of shady Whitewater land deals and the attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, Clinton critics are perpetually convinced she's up to no good. 

This week, news broke of an upcoming book, Clinton Cash, about the relationship between foreign interests and Hillary and Bill Clinton's foundation. Peter Schweizer, the author, is a longtime Republican strategist, so it's no surprise that Clinton called the book and other recent attacks on her trustworthiness "distractions." She's not the only candidate with connections to wealthy special interests, but she'll be the first to face serious scrutiny. 

She caused a media stampede — literally. 
Journalists published hundreds of articles about Clinton’s stop at an Ohio Chipotle, which would likely top the list of most absurd moments in campaign media coverage so far — if it weren’t for what happened when the Scooby van finally arrived in Iowa. As video shows, the moment Clinton’s van pulled up to Kirkwood Community College in Monticello, a scrum of reporters made a mad dash toward the candidate. They didn’t have much choice — getting the story first is the essence of campaign coverage — but, if reporters are already prepared to throw elbows to get scoops, we’re in for a long (and hopefully hilarious) election season.   
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