Clinton: Not “Group Hug” Bipartisanship, But Shared Values

By Teddy Davis

Jan 31, 2007 1:23pm

ABC News’ Matthew Zavala Reports: Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., offered a glimpse of what she learned from her recent trip to Iowa in a speech before the New America Foundation Wednesday in Washington, DC.  "What I hear from Americans is frustration, some discouragement, a sense that we are not living up to our potential," the 2008 presidential hopeful said.

Joining into the discussion about the need for politicians to work together to solve America’s problems–something that her likely 2008 Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama, Ill., has been known to tout–Clinton said, "I don’t think Americans are looking for some kind of group hug bipartisanship. I think they’re looking for leaders and citizens who will reassert our shared basic American values."

Clinton appeared relaxed as she sought to prove that she can relate to the middleclass and has the best agenda to improve their lives.  "I grew up in the middle class, in the middle of America, in the middle of the last century. By definition I’m middle of the road," she said. 

Clinton devoted a large portion of her speech to education, and in doing so, perhaps revealed what could become a cornerstone in her campaign. The Senator said that America is not keeping pace with its global competition and that a renewed commitment to education will help.  "We still have too many young people who cannot afford to start. Cannot afford to finish." She proposed an American Dream Grant, that would award colleges additional funds based on their graduation rates. 

On Friday Sen. Clinton is scheduled to join several other 2008 Democratic hopefuls at the Democratic National Committee winter meeting. 

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