February 4th, 2014
12:18 PM ET
10 months ago

Clinton lauds New York City's early childhood education efforts

Washington (CNN) – Hillary Clinton gave a full-throated endorsement of early childhood education on Tuesday, including crediting New York Mayor Bill De Blasio – a Clinton confidant – for his efforts to make universal pre-kindergarten the law in America's biggest city.

The former Secretary of State's remarks came as part of an event that brought Too Small to Fail, a childhood development project Clinton launched last year, into a partnership with Univision, the Spanish speaking television network.

"I am especially pleased that the mayor and the first lady and the speaker could be with us today," Clinton said of de Blasio. "They have put early childhood education at the top of the cities agenda and it is an important goal that everyone of us must be committed to achieving."

De Blasio, the newly minted Democratic mayor of New York, has drawn attention for his progressive policies, especially his plan to hike taxes on the rich in order to pay for early childhood education. "Asking those at the top to help our kids get on the right path and stay there. That's our mission. And on that, we will not wait. We will do it now," de Blasio said in his inaugural address earlier this year.

During her short remarks at the roundtable discussion about urging parents to talk with their young children from birth, Clinton said she – as "someone who has worked on this for a very long time" – applauds the leadership the de Blasio has shown on the issue.

De Blasio, in return, described Clinton as an "inspiration" and a "guide" during his brief remarks and credited Clinton for her early work on the issue of early childhood education. The New York Mayor has long been close with the Clintons – he was a Housing and Urban Development official during the Bill Clinton presidency and was Hillary Clinton's campaign manager during her successful 2000 Senate bid.

Clinton's partnership with Univision is focused on encouraging Hispanic families and caregivers to speaking and engages with their children from a young age as a way to develop their language skills. At Monday's event, Clinton watches Spanish-language PSAs about the issue and chatted with Univision President Randy Falco.

Hispanic children, Clinton said, "are less likely, because of where they live and the circumstances they live in, to have access to preschool, to have access to formal child care."

"Our Spanish language partnership will help Hispanic parents, grandparents and caregivers help to get their own children ready for school," Clinton added. "What we want to do is help bring that information to families so that while they are caring for the children they love… they are talking to them, singing to them, helping them succeed."

In addressing the small group of assembled education advocates and parents in a classroom at the East Harlem Council for Human Services Head Start Program, Clinton also spoke how she used to sing "Moon River," a song made famous by Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffany's," to her daughter Chelsea Clinton.

"I even sang to her until she developed an ear, Clinton said. "Before I put her to bed, I would sit in a rocking chair and I would read to her. And then I would sing to her. I would sign Moon River. And then, literally, when she was about maybe 16 months, she takes her little finger and she puts it on my lip and she says, 'No sing mom, no sing.'"

She added to laughter, "But I got away with it for about a year and a half."

On top of the education effort, there was a layer of politics to Monday's event. Univision provides Clinton – who if she launches a second White House bid would instantly become the overwhelming frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination – with a powerful entry into the electorally important Hispanic community.

The network, which reaches most every Spanish speaker household in America and has, in the past, trumped ratings for the top broadcast channels, has been used as an inroad for other politicians, too. Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, participated in a forum with Univision just months before the election.

As a possible preview of 2016, the Republican National Committee responded to Clinton's remarks on Tuesday afternoon.

Izzy Santa, the group's Hispanic communications director, said de Blasio supports gutting charter schools and Clinton's approval of the New York mayor "goes against the grain of whatever 2016 propaganda she will deliver with Univision."


Filed under: Bill de Blasio • Education • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Thank you Madam President!

    February 4, 2014 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    "De Blasio, the newly minted Democratic mayor of New York, has drawn attention for his progressive policies, especially his plan to hike taxes on the rich in order to pay for early childhood education."
    -----------------------------–
    I'm not up to speed on DeBlasio's plan to raise taxes on the rich. I would hope that it would include a change in how employees are compensated through stocks. That income from staock is a wage and it should be taxed as earned income, but it's not. It's taxed at the much lower capital gains rate.

    February 4, 2014 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  3. just saying

    democrats will eventually take your children at brith so they can start their leftist indoctrination right away. don't want the parents to sneak in any crazy ideas about liberty and the constitution to muddy the leftists lies.

    besides, it set up free government paid for day care for all the liberals looking to dump their kids off somewhere instead of taking care of them.

    February 4, 2014 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  4. Beth

    Too bad she didn't compliment Arkansas. Huckabee spent lots on pre-K to get it up to speed but God forbid she admit a republican did it right.

    February 4, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. Reggie53

    I think we have had enough of the Clintons....time for both of them to retire some place warm. Bill and Hillary Clinton are the old style Washington politics. We need some new faces but we keep getting the same old, same old. Enough of them now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Bye bye Clintons....enjoy your retirement!!!!!

    February 4, 2014 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  6. Fair is Fair

    Crikey... Clinton looks worse (and eerily similar) to George H.W. Bush in that photo... maybe the rumors of her health aren't rumors.

    February 4, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. yolanda

    @Rudy, employees who receive part of their compensation in stock usually do not have the ability to liquidate that stock for several years, if not more (vesting period). Most employees would rather have immediate liquidity, i.e. cash, but are not given that option by their employers. Long term capital gains are just that, long term. If an employee is not able to realize cash ( ordinary income) it seems unfair to punish them by taxing them as if they did receive cash. Are you suggesting that they be taxed at the time of the stock being awarded, or at the time of redemption? Are you suggesting that long term capital gains be eliminated altogether?

    February 4, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    That's nothing but a SCAM!

    The benefits clearly show, to end, once the child enters regular elementary school. That is PROVEN.

    This is nothing but a SCAM to get the public to pay for child care...........from public monies.

    February 4, 2014 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  9. O'drama ya Mama

    Fair is Fair

    Crikey... Clinton looks worse (and eerily similar) to George H.W. Bush in that photo... maybe the rumors of her health aren't rumors.
    February 4, 2014 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    The picture kind of looks a bit pixelated but I see what you're saying

    February 4, 2014 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  10. Fair is Fair

    @ yolanda -

    He has no clue of what a vesting period is... no clue how restricted stock grants are valued or taxed, and certainly no idea how stock options given as compensation are valued or taxed. He tends to grab on to something the left will see as a boogey man (Oooooh lookie there – EVIL stocks) and attempts to milk it for all it's worth to a gullible audience. Save your breath... this particular talking point has been going on since 2011.

    February 4, 2014 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  11. Hector Slagg

    Huum,
    Haven't there been studies that indicate Pre-School does little to help improve education. Of course it all sounds so good but the end result is nil. Taxing the hell out of the rich, now there is something you can get your teeth into. Let's hope all that education pays off, we need more rich.

    February 4, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  12. Malory Archer

    Fair is Fair

    Crikey... Clinton looks worse (and eerily similar) to George H.W. Bush in that photo...

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    It's not a photo – it's a video, and nobody looks good in a video still.

    February 4, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  13. Silence DoGood

    Democrats: pro-education
    Republicans: no action but favors Creationism
    Tea Party: anti-science, pro-religious indoctrination
    Taliban: anti-education, pro-religious indoctrination

    February 4, 2014 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  14. tom l

    @Yolanda and Fair,
    Rudy has no clue about investments nor financial implications of different types investments. He doesn't get what "capital gains" taxation is. He certainly doesn't know the difference between long term cap gains and short term (which are taxed as income, Rudy). When he talks about receiving stock as compensation, he has no ideas that person can't just sell their stock and that even if that person were allowed to sell his/her stock immediately it would be taxed as income. Way too complicated for his simple mind and mantra of dems good repubs bad.

    February 4, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. just asking

    i wonder how old the kids are in north korea and communist china when the government takes them from their parents? we all know why they take them young, right?

    February 4, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  16. tom l

    Yikes! She ain't looking to good there.

    February 4, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  17. tom l

    @Yolanda and Fair,
    You have to excuse Rudy as he has no clue about investments nor financial implications of different types investments. He doesn't get what "capital gains" taxation is. He certainly doesn't know the difference between long term cap gains and short term (which are taxed as income, Rudy). When he talks about receiving stock as compensation, he has no ideas that person can't just sell their stock and that even if that person were allowed to sell his/her stock immediately it would be taxed as income. Way too complicated for his simple mind and mantra of dems good repubs bad.

    February 4, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Wow.... Hillary is looking OLD!! In three years she"ll be ready for the old folks home, not a presidential run. Democrats, might want to dust off your other far left looney tunes like Howard Dean.

    February 4, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    yolanda

    @Rudy, employees who receive part of their compensation in stock usually do not have the ability to liquidate that stock for several years, if not more (vesting period). Most employees would rather have immediate liquidity, i.e. cash, but are not given that option by their employers. Long term capital gains are just that, long term. If an employee is not able to realize cash ( ordinary income) it seems unfair to punish them
    --------------------------
    Stop. No one is being punished. Vesting periods are irrelevant. It is still earned income no matter how you look at it. It makes no difference whether or not it is cash, chickens, or stocks. It's all compensation for their labor.

    February 4, 2014 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    Fair is Fair

    @ yolanda -

    He has no clue of what a vesting period is... no clue how restricted stock grants are valued or taxed, and certainly no idea how stock options given as compensation are valued or taxed.
    --------------------------------
    You've still got issues, I see. Since you haven't figured it out by now, then let me spell it out for you. I think that stock compensation deals are one big scam to pay lower taxes on their wages.

    February 4, 2014 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Wake up People!

    Jeff, that's future Madam President. More than 2 years away. Almost 3.

    February 4, 2014 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  22. yolanda

    @Rudy, I can tell you first had that is not the case. Often, companies pay a large component of compensation in stock/stock options that does not vest for a long period of time (years). The employee has no say in this. You are seriously off base here. To use your chicken analogy, if you are paid in eggs, but the eggs don't hatch, do you still pay taxes on the chicken? You seem so aggrieved at the thought of anyone making money that you want them punished without even knowing their true compensation. Get past the ideology for a minute and look at the practical application of what you are proposing. ....

    February 4, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Rudy NYC

    tom l. wrote:

    ...When he talks about receiving stock as compensation, he has no ideas that person can't just sell their stock and that even if that person were allowed to sell his/her stock immediately it would be taxed as income. Way too complicated for his simple mind and mantra of dems good repubs bad.
    -------------------------
    What makes you say that I don't know what I'm talking about? The bottom line is that there is a loop hole in the tax laws that allow people receiving stocks as part of a compensation package to not pay taxes on the earnings as earned income and wages. I think the loopholes are unjust, unfair, and need to be eliminated. It's part of what has grossly inflated the incomes of the highest wage earners, at the expense of the middle class. Executives are motivated to drive the stock values, instead of improving their companies, or even concerning themselves with the enthusiasm of their workers towards the company.

    February 4, 2014 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |