Hillary Clinton promotes women, ignores presidential race in KC appearance

6/23/2014

By Rick Montgomery

By Rick Montgomery

The Kansas City Star

(MCT) — Speaking for 90 minutes without so much as hinting at her political future, Hillary Rodham Clinton on Sunday told a Kansas City crowd of 2,200 that countries grow stronger and can forge peace by promoting "full participation of women and girls."

The former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state spoke to an enthusiastic audience at the Midland theater as part of a tour promoting her latest memoir, "Hard Choices," chronicling her years leading the State Department in the Obama administration.

Polls find Clinton the heavy Democratic favorite in the run-up to the 2016 presidential race, but she didn't bring up her own plans when answering book-related questions posed onstage by Rainy Day Books' Vivien Jennings. Clinton declined requests for news media interviews.

Praising the leadership of Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Clinton said women, when granted full economic rights, can help struggling nations prosper.

She linked low economic growth and unstable security to "places where women have been held back" and drew applause saying that "if women were able to participate ... the GDP in Egypt would increase 34 percent."

But the biggest cheers came when Clinton switched to gridlock in Washington. She urged voters to reject candidates who claim that "he or she will never compromise."

About 15 protesters waived signs and American flags outside the theater before Clinton arrived. Some signs referenced the 2012 terrorist attack on U.S. diplomats in Benghazi, Libya, a topic Clinton did not address.

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