Surprise, Surprise, HIllary Announces

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from The Wall Street Journal,

As she did in 2007, Hillary Clinton released a video Sunday announcing she was running for president. The similarities pretty much end there.

The videos both star Mrs. Clinton but are strikingly different in substance, tone and tenor. The 2007 video is all about the candidate; this year’s offering is all about everyday Americans.

In the 2007 video announcing the 2008 run, she spoke somberly from a couch in her home about the deficit, the war in Iraq, energy independence, health care and the failings of then-President George W. Bush. She talked about her own record and biography, and was accompanied by a confident statement on her Web site, “I’m in and I’m in to win.”

This time, her video says little about her biography, issues and plans, and much about the lives of Americans she wants to win over. It is upbeat, with humor, music and images of everyday Americans talking about challenges and opportunities in their lives. This time, she says, with considerably more humility: “I’m hitting the road to earn your vote.”

That reflects what her advisers have been saying for months: that she won’t take the Democratic nomination for granted, even though she is some 50 points ahead in the polls. She was the front-runner eight years ago, too, only to be surprised by then-Sen. Barack Obama.

The video announcement this time alludes to just one issue—the struggles of middle class families—but even as she declares that “the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top,” the tone is upbeat. “Every day Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion,” she says with a smile.

Her secondary message is clear: she wants to appeal to a wide swath of Americans. One of her most urgent tasks will be reassembling Mr. Obama’s winning coalition, including racial minorities and young people, all of whom appear repeatedly in the video.

Advisers to Mrs. Clinton have said she intends to run a campaign that is focused on voters, not the candidate, with small events in lieu of big rallies. The video is meant to personify that. A Clinton aide said that it was shot all over the country, and that none of the people who appear are actors, but Americans telling their true stories.

Mrs. Clinton connects herself to the new beginnings each of these people represent. “I’m getting ready to do something too,” she says, “I’m running for president.”

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