Hillary Clinton discussed the current state of the economy, environmental issues, and the importance of education during the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference at Arizona State University Saturday night.
Clinton has yet to announce whether or not she will be running for president in 2016, but she has certainly been hitting the campaign trail hard lately.
Clinton has been making a lot more public appearances and tackling issues that would be at the forefront of the millennials’ political agenda.
“Here in the United States, we are struck by some quite unfortunate realities,” Clinton told the crowd of students before listing some troubling statistics about the job market and education.
Roughly 6 million Americans between the ages of 16 and 24 are currently unemployed and not in school. Also the unemployment rate for college graduates has reached 8 percent, a full point and a half higher than the national average.
Over 26 percent of Americans without a high school degree also remain unemployed.
Clinton used these numbers to make a push for focusing more on education.
“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.”
She went on to say that while she isn’t officially running for president yet, she is “very much concerned” about the country’s lack of focus on climate change and environment issues.
“I am very much concerned about the direction of our country – and it’s not just who runs for office, but what they do when they get there and how we bring people together and particularly empower young people so that we can tackle these hard decisions we’ve just been talking about,” Clinton said.
The topic of “going green” and combating global warming has been particularly popular among millennials, which could be key to Clinton gaining the support she needs to win an election if she chose to run again.
She encouraged the students to spark a “mass movement” that would force their political leaders to actually do something about environmental issues.
“This is not just some ancillary issue,” Clinton said. “This will determine in large measure the quality of life in so many places around the world. I’m hoping that there will be this mass movement that demands political change.”
Despite her reaching out to the younger voters, Clinton still hasn’t managed to be seen as a presidential candidate who offers new, fresh ideas.
Over 40 percent of those surveyed in a recent USA Today/Pew survey said they don’t believe Clinton has any new ideas.
Despite this survey, the former senator and secretary of state is still a front-runner of the Democratic presidential nomination and is still favorable among millennials.