Finally, after years of knowing smiles and lighthearted misdirection, Hillary Rodham Clinton has announced what everyone has known for years: she is running for president in 2016.

Clinton has been a champion of progressive causes for decades. Barack Obama’s signature policy achievement, Obamacare, owes much to Clinton and her ill-fated attempt at securing universal healthcare for Americans in 1993, when she was first lady. The bill introduced as a result of Clinton’s Task Force on National Health Care Reform was defeated, but modern-day Obamacare has taken much from Clinton’s ideas. As president, she would likely improve and extend the system.

She has been on the forefront of the fight for women’s rights since her university days, when she became the first student to ever deliver a commencement address at her alma mater, Wellsley College, in 1969. As first lady, New York senator and secretary of state, Clinton made women’s rights and health a priority. In 2013 she launched the  “No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project” in co-operation with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to study the progress of women and girls since the 1995 UN Fourth World Congress on Women (a forum at which, 18 years earlier, she had given a speech entitled “Women’s Rights are Human Rights”). She has long campaigned for a fairer tax system, an end to income inequality and an improvement in the American education system.

Clinton has been a fixture of American politics for 23 years. She knows how to get things done in the executive and legislative branches of government, as well as the art of diplomacy and how to shine on the international stage. She’s a canny, savvy politician who believes in standing up for the working class, the poor, the oppressed, women. Yes, she’s also done a lot Crikey does not agree with. But we’re glad to see she’s getting ready for her biggest political fight yet.

Peter Fray

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