Monday, November 24th, 2014

What’s Hillary Clinton said lately? Not much that merits a fact-check

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Seaport World Trade Center on April 23, 2014, in Boston.
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Seaport World Trade Center on April 23, 2014, in Boston.

Everyone is watching Hillary Rodham Clinton to see if she will run for president in the 2016 election.  We’ve been watching too, but we haven’t seen comments substantial enough to merit a fact-check.

Based on the soft tone of her speeches, Clinton is clearly not in campaign mode. You are more likely to hear a series of personal reminiscences and warm declarations than a position on controversial policy issues. We’ve also noticed that very few of her speeches end up being transcribed for electronic databases.

Still, we thought we’d review some of her public comments so you can see what she’s been saying.

The former secretary of state has logged thousands of miles in recent months appearing everywhere from Florida to Arizona to Connecticut, speaking on topics ranging from women’s empowerment to Vladimir Putin’s latest land grab. Clinton’s going rate for speeches is in the $200,000 range, according to the New York Times.

In between putting the finishing touches on her second memoir, titled Hard Choices, Clinton has spoken publicly about her passion for advancing women and girls around the globe, early childhood education and renewable energy initiatives.

Speaking about women’s salaries in America and the wage gap, Clinton said, "We’re making progress, but it’s not fast enough. This is the unfinished business of the 21st century."

Other talking points from her April 10 San Jose State University appearance included this advice: "Don’t let women’s concerns and fears undermine what could be the greatest moment in history for young women. This is the moment. We can all seize it."

In a February appearance at the University of Miami, she continued this trend. "I believe that many of the challenges we face and the promise of the future we want to build . . . will hinge on how we embrace the idea of full participation (for women and girls)," Clinton said.

About as controversial as Clinton has been recently are her comments on McCutcheon vs. Federal Election Commission -- the April 2 U.S. Supreme Court decision that eliminated the rules on aggregate limits -- the total cap on the amount a donor can contribute to federal campaigns or political committees during a two-year window.

"With the rate the Supreme Court is going, there will only be three or four people in the whole country that have to finance our entire political system by the time they are done," Clinton said during an appearance at The World Affairs Council of Oregon.

An interesting prediction, but not fact-check material.

On April 28, Clinton is scheduled to give the keynote address for the Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters, also known as HIPPY. The conference at Gallaudet University in Washington will address the importance of early childhood education. (We should note Clinton’s HIPPY appearance will be unpaid.)

Clinton also hasn’t done many news interviews recently, but we expect that to change when her book comes out. Some of her most recent substantial interviews with journalists include her joint appearance with President Barack Obama in a January 2013 episode of 60 Minutes and an April interview with New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman at the fifth annual Women in the World Summit.

Clinton suggested recently that the media focus more on substance. "A lot of serious news reporting has become more entertainment driven and more opinion-driven as opposed to factual," she said at the University of Connecticut on April 24.  

In the build-up to 2016, speculation will continue to swirl around Clinton and her potential run. For now, like everyone else, we’re awaiting her decision.  

If you hear Hillary Clinton say anything that you think warrants a fact-check, email us at truthometer@politifact.com or tweet us at @PolitiFact with #PolitiFactThis