The morning after her epically long grilling before Congress, Hillary Clinton swung by the Democratic National Committee’s Women’s Leadership Forum to talk up the importance of women’s issues for the future of the Democratic Party. “We know women are half the country—indeed, slightly more—half the planet, and more than half the Democratic Party,” Clinton said.
The DNC’s forum drew the full cattle call of Democratic contenders. Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee used his speech to end his presidential campaign. When reporters asked why he was done now, he simply said, “Obviously it’s a good week for Secretary Clinton.” Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Gov. Martin O’Malley both received warm welcomes from the Democrats in the basement ballroom of the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington, but Clinton was the clear favorite as the crowd cheered loudly when she walked onstage. “In this party, our party,” Clinton said, “The problems that keep women and their families up at night would always be front and center.”
Unlike her 2008 campaign for president, Clinton hasn’t shied away from her gender and the historic nature of her campaign should she win the White House. Clinton relayed one of her favorite anecdotes from the campaign trail, when a young girl asked her whether she would earn the same salary as her male predecessors if she won the presidency.
“When we fight for women, we are fighting for our entire country,” Clinton said.
The former secretary of state used her speech to push a host of so-called women’s issues, including equal pay and reproductive rights. “We have to defend Planned Parenthood,” she said, comparing the Congressional investigations into the health clinics to the “witch hunts” of the Benghazi committee. She touted her support for gun control, noting that some of her opponents have accused her of yelling about the issue. Clinton claimed that she was not shouting about it. “It’s just that when women talk, people think we’re shouting,” she said.