Hillary Clinton Starts to Embrace Midwest Roots

Image: Hillary Clinton Starts to Embrace Midwest Roots Hillary Clinton sings Take Me Out to the Ballgame with baseball fans during the seventh inning stretch as the Chicago Cubs played the Chicago White Sox on May 19, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago. (David Banks/Getty Images)

Thursday, 21 Aug 2014 07:54 AM

By Elliot Jager

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Hillary Clinton is honing her image as a 'No Baloney' Midwesterner for the approaching 2016 presidential race, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Clinton, 66, was born in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. She left the Midwest to attend college in Massachusetts. A Goldwater Republican, she shifted to become a Democratic activist. After graduating Yale with a law degree, she lived in Little Rock with Bill Clinton.

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After his presidency, she moved to New York and became a U.S. senator, then back to Washington while she was secretary of state. In baseball, she's sported Yankee and Cubs caps, according to the Journal.

Now, Clinton is emphasizing her Chicago roots. In a speech she gave in the Windy City earlier this summer Clinton said, "This is where I was born and where I grew up." She told another local audience, "Chicago is at the real core of my family, who we are, where we came from," the Journal reported.

Indiana-born writer Ward Just characterizes the image of the Midwestern politician as "no baloney." And political scientist Burdett Loomis paints the ideal Midwesterner as "solid" and "authentic," according to the Journal.

The Midwest is comprised of 12 states and 118 electoral votes. During the 2008 presidential campaign a Journal survey found that Clinton's likability and trustworthiness were somewhat lower in the Midwest compared to elsewhere.

"The single most effective bellwether of a candidate is how they do in the Midwest – it's not only in the middle of the country, it contains all the central elements and attributes of the country," pollster Peter Hart told the Journal. "But the challenge for Hillary Clinton is that Chicago is a long way in the rearview mirror."

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, now a Democratic candidate for state comptroller and daughter of the late Sen. Paul Simon, advises Clinton to be "genuine."

She added, "That is certainly valued by Illinois voters, and this time around, I think that's where her Midwest background actually matters," the Journal reported.

Urgent: Should Hillary Run in 2016? Vote Now

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