Hillary Clinton talks jobs, economy to millennials
March 22nd, 2014
09:24 PM ET
7 years ago

Hillary Clinton talks jobs, economy to millennials

(CNN) - Hillary Clinton on Saturday spoke to an audience of thousands of college students in Arizona about the economic uncertainty facing their generation and the importance of education.

The former senator and secretary of state spoke at the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at Arizona State University, a weekend of speeches, panels, and seminars that address higher education and other issues facing young voters.

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Clinton stuck to an agreeable message she has taken to many college campuses across the country: Education is critical as a way to rise up and better oneself.

"Education still remains the key to unlocking opportunity for individuals, for families, communities, and even countries," she said. "It remains the route out of poverty and into a better life with a rising income."

Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, has been making more public appearances lately, including a number on college campuses - with more visits scheduled this year. Although she has not said whether she will run in 2016, Clinton seems to be testing the waters, and young voters would be key to winning the nomination or presidency.

While Clinton is a popular figure among millennials, those born in the early 1980s and into the 2000s, many see her as part of the old guard. Only 49% believe she has new ideas, with 40% saying she does not, according to a USA Today/Pew survey. That perception played a part in young voters' overwhelming preference for Barack Obama - 14 years Clinton's junior - in the 2008 Democratic primaries.

In Saturday's address - as she has in other speeches - Clinton tried to break down that notion and speak to young voters' experiences.

"Here in the United States, we are struck by some quite unfortunate realities," she said, discussing the 6 million Americans between 16 and 24 years old who are neither employed nor in school. She also highlighted the higher unemployment rates for young college graduates - over 8%, a point and a half higher than the national average - and those without a high school degree - 26%.

Part of the effort to reach out to younger voters also has involved Clinton opening up, taking "selfies" and joining Twitter. She continued to reveal a more personal side Saturday, even sharing the story of her first job as a park supervisor, at age 13.

"I was thrilled, I felt so excited to have this job," she said. But, too young to drive a car, she had to figure out how to get all the equipment she needed from her house to the park, four miles away.

"That was my first logistical challenge," she said to laughs. "I ended up, a 13-year old girl, pulling a wagon and just prayed nobody I knew would ever see me as I was going by their homes."

–CNN’s Brianna Keilar contributed to this report.

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. nick

    I do not believe anything that comes out of the older generations mouth. They have robbed us blind, and left us to inherit a country with an unsustainable economy. By the time i am 50 our economic system will suffer some sort of collapse. Our government has been dipping into SSI for decades to fund basic functions of our government. Soon SSI will no longer have a surplus of funds to lend the government, and will begin to run a deficit. No longer will the government be able to dip into SSI, and will need to raise taxes draStically to fund the basic government functions and pay the defcit in SSI. This will take a lot of cash out of the private sector, which will cause job losses and an economy in a downward spiral. Yet politicians will continue to spend money and make promises and people will keep electing them. We get wjatbwe deserve. Too bad its my generation that will be the ones suffering.

    March 22, 2014 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  2. Thomas

    Good luck to her !

    March 23, 2014 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  3. it must be said

    I'm sure the lies are flowing like honey. Is she telling them the tens of thousands in debt Obama and the Democrats are piling on them? The lack of jobs as we flood this country will illegal workers and foreigners with work visas? Didn't think so...

    March 23, 2014 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  4. John Q Public

    Surprise! Another Hillary for President story. Dynasties are destroying Anerica's democracy. You saw what happened with Bush II. Expect the same or worse with Clinton II.

    March 23, 2014 07:32 am at 7:32 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    That's ALL it is........just empty TALK!

    March 23, 2014 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  6. Gurgyl

    Yes, my fervent appeal–Education may not make you a millionaire but gives you lot of self-respect, think right, do whatever the job you undertake–right. Please be Educated. Education is a very essential element in ones life. Education puts you in a right path in life. God bless, younger generation!!!!!

    March 23, 2014 08:08 am at 8:08 am |
  7. Hooper

    The right message, and the right person to send it. What will be the battle cry of the republicans? ( Lets do more for those that need no help, but less for those who need it). That's been done and it failed miserably.

    March 23, 2014 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  8. Gurgyl

    @nick, yes, you are hundred percent right–but your righteousness is linked to GREED, UN-NECESSARY WARS–that drained this beautiful nation. People that are born and raised do not value this nation is totally unfortunate. I think, one hundred percent this nation is on right track, economy is recuperating gradually to corroborate stock-market is live-proof. Yes, SS is going to be fixed, we need to fill loop-holes. Cut immigrants some of these benefits. They come from no where claim these SS, Medicare to rob us. God bless!!!!!!

    March 23, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  9. Lizzie

    nick, Pres.Clinton robbed the SS fund to balance a ONE year budget. SS is being payed out of the general fund, NOT as intended to be a separate fund. It's always easy to say SS needs to be fixed, how about fixing our so-called representatives paycheck, put them all on SS and Medicare and not let them vote for pay increases for themselves.

    March 23, 2014 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  10. just asking

    Yes, my fervent appeal–Education may not make you a millionaire but gives you lot of self-respect, think right, do whatever the job you undertake–right. Please be Educated. Education is a very essential element in ones life. Education puts you in a right path in life. God bless, younger generation!!!!!

    not when you spend four years of your life getting degree and then get out and can't find a job in your profession, and then end up working at mcdonalds while wondering how you are going to pay back $80,000 in student loans. thanks to the obama economy, that is the reality of what the millenials face. and hillary clinton and the democrats keep lying to them to suck them in further.

    March 23, 2014 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |