If there’s one political figure least primed to address the American people’s faith in the government, balance and transparency, it’s former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. But that’s not stopping the 2016 hopeful.
Clinton announced she would be giving a series of speeches on a range of issues throughout the fall, kicking her tour off before members of the American Bar Association in San Francisco. During her speech, Clinton denounced the Supreme Court’s decision on the Voting Rights Act, spending the bulk of her 35-minute address combatting such an “assault on voter rights.” But the former Secretary of State also highlighted the motivation behind her cross-country journey, saying she hopes to address the dwindling faith the American people have in government.
“Confidence in most of our important historic institutions has fallen to historic lows, even as our need for solid footing in a rapidly changing world has never been greater,” Clinton said. “…Complaining about government is a treasured American pastime. But it is troubling that many Americans continue to lose faith and trust in the press, in banks, in sports heroes and the clergy and just about every institution.”
Clinton served as a member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet for his entire first term, resigning after he won re-election in 2012. But throughout Clinton’s four year as Secretary of State, the American people’s faith in the federal government fell drastically. According to a Pew Research poll, trust in Washington officials hit a near-historic low at the start of Obama’s second term, with 53 percent of Americans viewing the government as a threat to personal rights and only 26 percent saying they trusted the government most of the time.
Despite these figures — and an administration plagued by scandals — Clinton continued, saying she plans to address the need for balance and transparency from the federal government.
“I will talk about the balance and transparency necessary in our national security policies as we move beyond a decade of wars to face new threats,” Clinton said. “And late in the fall, I’ll address the implications of these issues…”
While serving as Secretary of State, Clinton came under intense scrutiny after four Americans were killed at the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The 2016 hopeful famously denied the attack was an act of terrorism, but rather the result of an anti-Muslim YouTube video. Then, when testifying on Capitol Hill, Clinton asked “what difference does it make,” regarding the motivation behind the attacks.
But now almost a year later, lawmakers are still calling for transparency from the Obama administration as to the events that Sept. 11 night, with members of the Special Operations community and politicians on Capitol Hill pushing for a new investigation into the attacks.
Check out Clinton’s speech below, with comments on her future speeches beginning at the 13:00 mark.