Speaking on the campus of Texas Southern University, Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton caused something of a firestorm in Houston Thursday.
The storied politician was at TSU to receive a first of its kind award… the Barbara Jordan Public Private Leadership medal, which was established to honor the monumental legacy of Texas’ first African-American female elected to the Texas Senate and to Congress. Barbara Jordan was also the first African-American woman to deliver the keynote address at major party’s National Convention.
With Jordan’s storied legacy before her, Clinton took to the podium to further her own achievements, and speak on the issue of Voting Rights. Here’s more on the speech from CNN…
Hillary Clinton accused four potential GOP presidential rivals by name of being “scared of letting citizens have their say” as she called Thursday for every American to automatically be registered to vote.
Clinton told an audience at the historically black Texas Southern University that she supports the concept of signing every American up to vote as soon as they’re eligible at age 18, unless they specifically opt out. She called for expanded access to polling places, keeping them open for at least 20 days and offering voting hours on evenings and weekends.
For the first time in her campaign, she attacked her likely opponents by name as she laid into four GOP governors — Texas’s Rick Perry, Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, Florida’s Jeb Bush and New Jersey’s Chris Christie — telling them to “stop fear-mongering about a phantom epidemic of voter fraud.”
“All of these problems voting just didn’t happen by accident,” she said. “And it is just wrong — it’s wrong — to try to prevent, undermine and inhibit Americans’ right to vote.”
The candidate’s remarks were an important shift to the Left on the whole Voting Rights conversation, which has long been dominated by the policies in place in Republican-controlled states seeking to do anything but ensure the rights of every citizen to vote. As Clinton pointed out, Texas is one of the nation’s worst offenders when it comes to Voting Rights discrimination.
After lambasting her competitors, Clinton went on to talk about how communities must work together to create a successful prosperous nation.
“America was built by people that knew that our common interests are more important than our self interests.”
Beyond her concern for Voting Rights, Clinton definitely had a complex agenda for today’s speech. For one, she’s working hard to put the infamous “Obama coalition” back together from 2008. Talking about the erosion of voting abilities is a sure fire way to get noticed in the minority community.
But as an added bonus, Clinton’s big speech happened to be on the same day as former Texas Governor Rick Perry’s announcement that he too is running for President, amongst a slew of other Republican candidates. Whether by accident or not, it’s fair to say that Clinton’s appearance was well-timed to steal a little Texas thunder on Perry’s big day.
Whatever the additional factors at play, Thursday’s event was an indication that Hillary Clinton is off to a very good start in rebuilding the historic coalition that put Obama into office seven years ago. For sure, she now has some friends at Texas Southern University, but there’s still more consensus building to do.
Monica Rojas of The Daily Cougar has more on the event.
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaking at Texas Southern University. June 4th, 2015.