- The Washington Times - Monday, June 1, 2015

Attempting to draw a connection with a liberal hero, Hillary Rodham Clinton arranged for her first big campaign rally to take place this month in New York City’s Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park — a landmark previously known as Welfare Island.

The Clinton campaign stressed the Roosevelt connection rather than the welfare moniker that until 1973 was the name for the narrow island in New York’s East River, campaign officials said.

They said the location will showcase her ties to the city as a former senator from New York, who also put her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, and reflect how her life’s work was inspired by former President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

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Memories of Welfare Island, which was named after the City Hospital located there, are not the location’s only drawbacks. It also put Mrs. Clinton conspicuously close to the Wall Street banks with which liberal activist already say she is too cozy.

Still, the June 13 rally will mark the official kickoff of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign and will be followed by a six-day whirlwind tour through the first four early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

The former first lady, senator and secretary of state announced her White House bid in April, but she limited her campaign stops to small events and roundtable discussions, a sort of listening tour to ease her into the campaign and help her get to know the voters that she referred to as “everyday Americans.”

The campaign announced the date of the big rally Friday but kept the location secret until Monday.

In her speech, Mrs. Clinton will lay out her view of the challenges facing this country and her vision and ideas for moving the country forward, the official said.

She’ll also describe how her lifelong commitment to working on behalf of children and families took her from Illinois, where she grew up, through Arkansas and Washington, D.C., to New York were she was elected as the state’s first female senator.

With a nod to the city, the park and the island named after her hero, Mrs. Clinton will tell the crowd how her work championing the needy followed in the tradition of Mr. Roosevelt and Eleanor Roosevelt, the campaign official said.

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