"I'm in and I'm in to win."
It was that simple statement, posted on her campaign Web site, that launched the much anticipated 2008 presidential campaign of New York Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. If elected, she will become the first female president in U.S. history.
"The stakes will be high when America chooses a new president in 2008," she said in a statement that was posted on hillaryclinton.com along with a video announcement. "As a senator, I will spend two years doing everything in my power to limit the damage George W. Bush can do. But only a new president will be able to undo Bush's mistakes and restore our hope and optimism."
Clinton brings an impressive resume to the race. As a former First Lady now serving her second term in the Senate, she has name recognition in her favor. She has a national network of supporters, the capacity to raise large sums of money, and a long history of political activity.
Clinton On the Issues
Abortion - Clinton believes abortion rights are protected by the Constitution, although she says the government should try to minimize the number of abortions through better sex education and improved access to birth control. She has praised religious groups for promoting abstinence.
Church and State - During Clinton's 2000 Senate campaign, she said she was opposed to allowing teachers to post the Ten Commandments in schools, saying it was a violation of the constitution. But she has also said that religious political officials should not have to hide their religion.
Death Penalty -Clinton is an advocate of the death penalty. She cosponsored part of the Justice for All Act, which provides funding for DNA testing of convicted persons and establishes a DNA testing process for individuals sentenced to the death penalty under federal law.
Education - Clinton favors increased funding for public schools, and against is against vouchers for private schools. She says voucher programs encourage divided communities.
Environment - Clinton is a member of the Senate Committee on Environmental & Public Works. She proposes creating an energy fund with profits from oil-companies, with those profits being used to develop alternative energy sources.
Faith-Based Initiatives - Clinton has voiced support for faith-based initiatives that address social ills and provide social services.
Gay Marriage - Clinton opposes same-sex marriage but favors civil unions. In the U.S. Senate, she opposed amending the Constitution to ban gay marriage.
Health Care - Clinton is a supporter of universal health care that would provide government health insurance to all Americans. She has said that she hopes to make health care a top issue in the 2008 election.
Immigration - Clinton supports immigration reform, believing it should be based on strengthening America's borders and implementing new enforcement laws. She also advocates providing a way for illegal workers already in the U.S. to become legal citizens.
Iraq War - Clinton voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq in 2002, but has since become a vocal opponent of the war.
Poverty - As a senator, Clinton voted to raise the federal minimum wage. She has accused the Bush administration of turning the middle class into "invisible Americans," and says if she is elected president, "they will no longer be invisible."
Stem Cell Research - Clinton supports stem cell research. She cosponsored the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2005, which was vetoed by President Bush.