— -- Today marks an unofficial, official turning point in Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.
Later today, the "ramp up phase" -- a term used by Clinton's campaign to describe the first two months of her candidacy -- will come to an end and her "official" campaign will kick-off. This transition will be marked by the Democratic presidential candidate's first big campaign rally in New York City, where Clinton will deliver a speech laying out her vision for her campaign, followed by a five-day swing through all four early voting states, including Iowa and New Hampshire.
At Clinton’s rally today, which will take place between Manhattan and Brooklyn at the Four Freedoms Park on Roosevelt Island -- a symbolic nod to Clinton's role model, Eleanor Roosevelt -- aides say she will make her most extensive pitch yet on why she should be president.
During her remarks, Clinton will take on a more personal tone during and allude to the story of her later mother, Dorothy Rodham, according to her aides. She will explain how her mother’s life story -- which was filled with trauma and abandonment -- has taught her valuable lessons of resilience and motivated her to run for president.
"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,” Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri said in a statement.
Today’s public rally will be Clinton’s largest event yet as a presidential candidate. While her campaign organizers will not say how many people requested tickets to the event, attendance is expected to be in the thousands.
Among those attending will be former president Bill Clinton and their daughter Chelsea, who are expected to make their first official appearances of the campaign today. It is not known yet whether Clinton’s 9-month-old granddaughter, Charlotte, will also be there.
Clinton fans will be greeted by some opposition, too. Representatives from the Republican National Committee -- which, according to a spokesperson, has already spent roughly a quarter of a million dollars on its Stop Hillary campaign since she soft-launched her campaign two months ago -- are planning to hand out sunglasses with a not-so-friendly message for the Democratic presidential candidate.
Up until now, Clinton’s campaign has focused on small, intimate roundtables, as opposed to big rallies, since announcing her campaign with an online video. Clinton has also kept the policy specifics at a minimum and the press at an arm’s length.
But beginning today, things are expected to change. In this next phase of her campaign, aides to Clinton say she will start hosting big events and town halls, holding frequent press gaggles, and roll out specific policy proposals, one every week beginning this summer.
During her remarks today, Clinton will re-introduce her vision for the country and touch generally on the policy issues -- particularly domestic ones, such as voting rights and equal pay for women -- that she will make a priority of her campaign. She will also lay out what aides say will be a choice between her ideas and those of the Republican presidential hopefuls.
Following the rally, Clinton will make back-to-back visits to Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. She is expected to use many of the same talking points and themes, including her mother’s story, with her on the road.