By LAUREN SELSKY
Special to ABC News
MIAMI — Taking the stage to thunderous applause at the University of Miami, an exuberant Hillary Clinton lauded Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer’s veto of what Clinton called “discriminatory legislation,” saying that it was a recognition “that inclusive leadership is really what the 21st century is all about.”
Inclusion and participation were the themes of Clinton’s remarks Wednesday.
Before a question and answer period with former Bill Clinton cabinet member and current University of Miami president, Donna Shalala, Clinton touched upon a childhood encounter with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Clinton said she was challenged to “participate in the cause of justice” and “not to slumber” as the world changed. After talking about her encounter with King, Clinton urged the students in attendance to “use technology and social media to build people up to enable them to participate rather than tearing them down.”
Shalala and Clinton also discussed the turmoil in Venezuela, which the former secretary of state called a “difficult situation.” Noting that Venezuela is technically a democracy, she added, “a democracy doesn’t just mean an election. A democracy means a free press, protecting the rights of opponents, protecting a free economy” and that “there aren’t very many characteristics of a real democracy right now in Venezuela.”
Clinton made an impassioned call for so-called “invincibles” to embrace health insurance.
“You can’t sit here today and tell me for sure you won’t have a car accident, you won’t have a slip or a fall…you don’t know whether that would bankrupt your family trying to care for you.”
Alluding to the fights over Obamacare throughout the country, Clinton said, “I think it’s important to get the facts. I’m a big believer that we need to make decisions — we still can disagree and we will — but the disagreements will be based on something resembling evidence and we won’t be living in an evidence-free zone where we just argue past each other all the time.”
While talking about the current political system, Clinton again touched on participation. She blamed the “loudest voices” in the room of taking over the political discourse in this country, which causes well-meaning people with good ideas to flee. She said it “removes people with expertise and those who have a contribution to make” from the political arena.
The evening ended with the question that’s on everyone’s mind: What’s next for Hillary?
“I will certainly ponder that,” Clinton answered coyly.