A recharged Clin­ton vows sharp vi­sion

Demo­crat re­turns to the trail with an aim to ‘re­con­nect’

Baltimore Sun - - ELECTION 2016 - By Michael A. Me­moli

GREENS­BORO, N.C. — A seem­ingly hum­bled and health­ier Hil­lary Clin­ton re­turned to the cam­paign trail with new ur­gency Thurs­day and sought to re­frame the pres­i­den­tial election on her terms, vow­ing to de­liver re­sults for Amer­i­can fam­i­lies.

With just more than 50 days un­til election day and votes al­ready be­ing cast in many states, the most pre­cious re­source a can­di­date has is time. AndClin­ton, who had been side­lined with pneu­mo­nia since Sun­day, re­turned to the cam­paign trail in North Carolina know­ing she had some catch­ing up to do.

“Sit­ting at home was pretty much the last place I wanted to be,” she told a mod­est crowd here af­ter ar­riv­ing on stage to James Brown’s “I Feel Good.”

But she cast her time off as an un­ex­pected bless­ing, giv­ing her time for re­flec­tion that al­lowed her to “re­ally re­con­nect with what this cam­paign is all about.”

Through­out her re­marks, the for­mer sec­re­tary of state re­turned to the themes of a suc­cess­ful Demo­cratic con­ven­tion and even to her own an­nounce­ment speech more than a year ago, de­tail­ing the is­sues driv­ing her to seek the na­tion’s high­est of­fice.

“I’m go­ing to close my cam­paign the way I be­gan my ca­reer,” she said, “fo­cused on op­por­tu­ni­ties for kids and fair­ness for fam­i­lies.”

The choice of North Carolina for her re­turn cam­paign ap­pear­ance was in­ten­tional, cam­paign of­fi­cials said, de­signed to send the mes­sage that they still be­lieve they are on of­fense in a race that has tight­ened in re­cent days. Pres­i­dent Barack Obama car­ried the state in 2008 but nar­rowly lost it to Mitt Rom­ney in 2012.

The cam­paign owns up to the chal­lenge be­fore it. But Hil­lary Clin­ton ap­pears in Greens­boro, N.C., on Thurs­day, her first day back since Sun­day. her camp views the tur­bu­lence of the last week as not quite as dire as those on the out­side — even some vo­cal Democrats — might make it seem. And so, in the com­ing weeks, Clin­ton said she in­tends to make an af­fir­ma­tive case about her vi­sion, start­ing Mon­day with an ad­dress in Philadel­phia fo­cused on the chal­lenges of the mil­len­nial gen­er­a­tion, fol­lowed by an eco­nomic speech in Florida.

“One of the chal­lenges of this cy­cle has been at times try­ing to get back to what the cam­paign is re­ally sup­posed to be about — a vi­sion the can­di­date has for the fu­ture,” cam­paign man­ager Robby Mook said in an in­ter­view Wed­nes­day at the cam­paign’s Brook­lyn, N.Y., head­quar­ters. “So I think what you’re go­ing to see from us over the next few weeks is try­ing to show­case why she’s run­ning, what she wants to get done, the peo­ple she wants to help.”

Mook also pre­dicted that Don­ald Trump is go­ing to have to con­front his li­a­bil­i­ties in a more sig­nif­i­cant way, cit­ing a Newsweek re­port about the “trou­bling web of busi­ness con­nec­tions” he main­tains.

“He’s go­ing to be backed into a corner, both dis­clos­ing more so that we can have a bet­ter pic­ture, but also ex­plain­ing how in the world is he ac­tu­ally go­ing to gov­ern in the midst of all that,” Mook said.

In her re­marks here, Clin­ton ac­knowl­edged that over years in the pub­lic eye, she has “built up some de­fenses” to deal with the charges of her op­po­nents.

“When it comes to pub­lic ser­vice, I’m bet­ter at the ser­vice part than the pub­lic part,” she said.

But she de­fended the ini­tial de­ci­sion not to dis­close her ill­ness un­til af­ter she ap­peared to col­lapse as she left a 9/11 memo­rial ser­vice.

JUSTIN SUL­LI­VAN/GETTY

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