For Hillary Clinton, this campaign is personal.
When the democratic presidential candidate holds her much hyped rally on Saturday in New York City, her team said Thursday, she will emphasize her own history, discussing her family, her mother and her upbringing as a central part of her rationale for running for President.
The speech will build on many of the tropes that Clinton has developed throughout the first two months of the campaign, as she uses her past to talk about income inequality and building stronger families. Much of her remarks will also center on her domestic and economic vision for the country.
Clinton will in particular talk about her mother, Dorothy Rodham, who was abandoned by her parents and worked as a secretary before marrying Clinton’s father, Hugh Rodham.
“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,” Jennifer Palmieri, the campaign’s director of communications, said in an email to reporters. “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.”
In 2007 and 2008, Clinton ran as a determined and businesslike candidate whose unofficial campaign slogan was “ready on Day One,” turning off some voters who found her difficult to relate to and distant. This time, Clinton has taken an entirely different, speaking frequently about her granddaughter, Charlotte, her father’s drapery business and her mother.
Her website prominently displays photos of her as a baby and during her younger days with Bill Clinton. On Thursday, her newly minted Instagram feed featured a photo of her as a toddler riding a tricycle with the caption “Pedal to the metal. #tbt”
Clinton’s team is marking Saturday as official the start of her full-blown campaign, though she announced her candidacy in mid-April and has been holding small events in the four early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada over the past nine weeks. During those months she largely insulated herself from the media while holding carefully controlled roundtable conversations with voters.
She will deliver her speech on Roosevelt Island in New York’s East River, a narrow two-mile-long residential haven with views of midtown Manhattan and Queens. Saturday’s event will be the first large rally of Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Since joining the race and reentering partisan politics, Clinton’s favorability among voters has dropped. According to a CNN poll published last week, 57% of Americans view her as dishonest and trustworthy, up from 49% in March. Clinton’s campaign will be resting their hopes on her personal story reinvigorating voters over the course of the campaign.
“There’s still a lot of things people don’t know about her,” said Celinda Lake, a Democratic strategist unaffiliated with Clinton’s campaign. “The fact she came from Republican family, that she’s a person of faith. Her long history working for women and children… I think these numbers will pick up particularly among independent women as they get to know and see her better.”
On Saturday, the campaign said, Clinton will discuss the lessons she learned from her mother and will return to some of the populist tones she has struck so far: that prosperity has to reach more than just the super rich, and be about everyday Americans and families—the ones that she has been meeting with on the campaign trail.
Clinton will roll out major policy proposals throughout the summer, but she has talked frequently about income inequality and criminal justice reform, and laid out specific ideas about expanding voter participation and immigration.