By Jonathan Swan | The Hill
Hillary Clinton was greeted like a returning war hero at a Democratic National Committee (DNC) forum the morning after a long day of Republican interrogation at a hearing of the House Select Committee on Benghazi.
“As some of you may know, I had a pretty long day yesterday,” Clinton told a whistling, cheering audience of several hundred Democratic women who were on their feet to greet her arrival at the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum on Friday morning.
“I wanted to rise above partisanship and reach for statesmanship, and that is what I tried to do,” Clinton said of her 11-hour Benghazi performance.
Clinton received the most ecstatic reception of all the Democratic candidates who addressed the DNC’s Women’s Leadership Forum, with some audience members staying on their feet throughout her speech.
During her speech she praised President Obama for preventing America from entering another “great depression,” and she echoed themes discussed earlier by her rival Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), saying that the middle class and poor were struggling in an era of unbalanced wealth.
But in contrast to Sanders, Clinton put a greater emphasis on how women were not getting a fair deal in the American economy.
“Men’s pay is going up twice as fast as women’s pay,” Clinton said, recalling that a child asked her in a recent town hall if she, as a “girl” president, would get paid the same as a man.
Showing her confidence after her best two weeks in the campaign — a period during which Clinton performed well in the party’s first debate, saw off a major threat when Vice President Biden announced he would not run and had a strong performance in the Benghazi hearing — Clinton even struck out at Sanders, though she did not mention him by name.
“I’ve been told to stop shouting about gun violence,” Clinton said to a cheers.
“Well I’m not shouting. It’s just when women talk, people think we’re shouting,” she added to even louder applause.
Clinton’s reference to “shouting” was a clear shot at Sanders, who said during the first Democratic debate: “As a senator from a rural state I can tell Secretary Clinton that all the shouting in the world is not going to do what you want, and that is keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have those guns and end this horrible violence that we are seeing.”