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Clinton Talks "Hard Choices" in Ideas Week Chat

Speech at Chicago's Harris Theater was second public appearance to promote new memoir in as many days

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Former Secretary of State sits down with Chicago mayor to discuss her new book, her life decisions and her political future. NBC Chicago's Carol Marin reports for the NBC 5 NEWS at NOON on June 11, 2014.

    Hillary Rodham Clinton was greeted like a rock star at Chicago's Harris Theater as she arrived to audience dominated by women, many of them already holding her book, Hard Choices.

    In a well-cut gray pant suit, aqua jewelry, and well-coiffed hair, Clinton looked much as she did in the 2008 presidential campaign that was won by Barack Obama.

    Clinton on Coming Home to Chicago

    [CHI] Clinton on Coming Home to Chicago
    Hillary Clinton expresses fond memories of her time growing up in Chicago, including being told about the dragon in the Chicago River.

    Interviewed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, she talked about her mother's terrible childhood and her statement in the book that she and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, were "dead broke" when they left the White House.

    "Hillary, dead broke. Really?" Emanuel asked.

    "That may have not been the most artful way of saying that Bill and I have been through a lot of phases," said Clinton, who now receives hundreds of thousands of dollars for her public appearances. "We’ve been blessed and have gone through ups and downs like a lot of people."

    The pair discussed the problems of income inequality and problems plaguing the middle class.

    "Trickle down economics doesn't work!" she said to applause.

    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's Tuesday defeat to Tea Party Tea Party candidate and college professor Dave Brat in the Virginia primary, attributed by some as retribution for Cantor's stance on immigration issues, fairly begged questions as to the validity of legalizing more undocumented workers at a time when so many Americans continue to look for work, Clinton said.

    But, she clarified: "The answer is not to throw out of work the 11 immigrants who we think are contributing already to our ecnomy. The answer is to grow our economy and create more jobs."

    "We have to focus on creating more jobs and be welcoming to immigrants. We need to have an opinion that is more well informed, fact based conversation instead of the negative reactive conversation," she added.

    Discussing her time as the country's 67th secretary of state, Clinton said her biggest accomplishment was in helping to restore American leadership by bringing Iran to the negotiation table on nuclear arms.

    She was asked by Emanuel whether she thought the country was too divided or if compromise was still possible in the current political climate.

    "Don't vote for anyone who says they are against compromise," she said. "They are saying they are against the American experiment in democracy."

    Hard Choices may be, for now, the title of her book. But it is without much doubt the future slogan of what is likely to be a future campaign.

    Wednesday's appearance, a discussion for Chicago Ideas Week, was Clinton's second public appearance in the city in as many days. She kicked off the promotional campaign for her new book in Chicago on Tuesday with a speech at the Arie Crown Theater at McCormick Place.


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