Hillary Clinton to Unveil Talk-About-Her-Mom Strategy at First Campaign Rally

PHOTO: Hillary Clinton and her mom Dorothy Rodham are shown in their New York hotel room, July 14, 1992.Ron Frehm/AP Photo
Hillary Clinton and her mom Dorothy Rodham are shown in their New York hotel room, July 14, 1992.

Hillary Clinton spent the opening weeks of her campaign addressing policy issues like criminal justice reform, voting rights, and equal pay for women.

But as Clinton transitions to a new, more intense phase of her campaign, expect her to get personal.

At Clinton’s first official campaign rally this Saturday in New York City, aides say the Democratic presidential candidate will make her most extensive pitch yet on why she should be president. And her late mother, Dorothy Rodham, will play a central role.

Clinton has said her mother, who passed away in 2011, is her biggest role model and the woman from whom she learned valuable lessons about resilience.

Over the years Clinton has often shared her mother’s life story, which was full of trauma and abuse. In Clinton's telling, Dorothy Rodham was abandoned by her parents as a young girl and sent to live with her unloving paternal grandparents in California. At the age of 14 she left home and found work as a housekeeper.

"No one had a bigger influence on my life or did more to shape the person I became," Clinton wrote of her mother in her most recent memoir, "Hard Choices."

At her rally this weekend, where Bill and Chelsea Clinton are expected to make their first official campaign appearances, Clinton will explain how her mother’s story has motivated her to run for president.

Clinton’s decision to take a more personal tone is consistent with her campaign’s overall strategy to humanize the former secretary of state. Over the past few weeks, for example, Clinton has often told stories about her father, a small business owner, and her 9-month-old granddaughter, Charlotte.

Earlier this week, Clinton joined Instagram and posted a photo that joked about her pantsuits.

And next week, Clinton’s campaign is expected to release a biographical video about her life.

"She is a well-known figure but when you're asking the American people to support you as president, even if it is for the second time, there is no skipping of steps," Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement. "If you want to understand Hillary Clinton, and what has motivated her career of fighting for kids and families, her mother is a big part of the story. The example she learned from her mother's story is critical to knowing what motivated Hillary Clinton to first get involved in public service, and why people can count on her to fight for them and their families now."

On Saturday, Clinton also plans to re-introduce her vision for the country and touch on the policy issues -- particularly domestic ones -- that she will make a priority of her campaign. And she will lay out what aides say will be a choice between her ideas and those of the Republican presidential hopefuls.

Following the rally, which will take place on Roosevelt Island between Manhattan and Brooklyn, Clinton will embark on a five day swing through all four early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. She is expected to take many of the same themes, including her mother’s story, with her on the road.