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Hillary Clinton's UCLA Visit: What You Missed

Saharra Griffin |
March 5, 2014 | 10:41 p.m. PST


[Hillary Clinton speaking at UCLA's Royce Hall/Credit: Anna Sterling]
[Hillary Clinton speaking at UCLA's Royce Hall/Credit: Anna Sterling]
Hillary Clinton’s visit to UCLA Wednesday to deliver the Luskin Lecture and receive UCLA's highest honor triggered strong emotions from the university community.

Hundreds of students camped out overnight to get tickets to the event, while others students fervidly protested Clinton’s visit with picket signs.

The former U.S. secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential candidate delivered the third annual lecture two years after her husband, former President Bill Clinton, spoke at the same event.

In her speech, Clinton wasted no time addressing Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s recent involvement in Ukraine. Channeling the authoritative tone she so often utilized in her days as secretary of state, she didn't hesitate to call out Putin, calling him “a tough guy with thin skin.”

She praised the Obama administration’s diplomatic actions responding to the situation in Ukraine thus far. "I support the administration's call for Russia to respect its obligations and to refrain from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of Ukraine," she said.

She also clarified a controversial statement she made recently equating Putin’s actions to Hitler’s in the 1930s. "I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we can perhaps learn from this tactic that has been used before," said Clinton.

In a Q&A session with UCLA professor Lynn Vavreck, Clinton addressed the elephant in the room and the question on everyone’s mind—will she run for president in 2016?

While she did not provide a definitive answer to the question, when asked why it is important for the United States to elect a female president, Clinton responded, “the right female president, yes.”

Diverting the topic of conversation from herself to a more general trend, she listed numerous other countries that have recently elected their first female heads of state and suggested that the U.S. should follow the example.

Without revealing her own plans about 2016, she presented the ambiguous claim about America electing a female president—“When it happens, how it happens, by who, we'll wait and see”—leaving the audience and the rest of the world waiting to see if she will run.

Reach Contributor Saharra Griffin here.



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