PHILADELPHIA – Hillary Clinton hinted at a possible rationale for another presidential bid on Friday, telling a major women’s conference that cracking glass ceilings is “the great unfinished business of the 21st Century.”
Speaking at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women, the former secretary of State debuted plans for a new initiative called “No Ceilings,” meant to encourage opportunities and civic participation for women and girls in the United States, and around the globe.
“The great unfinished business of the 21st Century is helping women and girls break through these ceilings and participate fully in every act of life, once and for all,” Clinton said to applause from thousands of women on hand for the event.
Clinton’s keynote speech – delivered without a podium and before a crowd of 7,000 women – was met with thunderous applause. A group of four women from Lansdale ran across the middle of the auditorium with a sign reading "Run Hillary Run! 2016."
It was against that backdrop which Clinton spoke at length about cracking glass ceilings. Left unsaid was the glass ceiling Clinton herself could crack in 2016, should she win – or even win a major party’s nomination for – the presidency. During her 2008 run for the Democratic presidential nomination, Clinton shied away from embracing the history she was poised to make at the time. As she inches toward possibly waging a repeat bid for the Democratic nomination, Clinton has been more willing to speak about what her campaign would represent.
"Ceilings in America are unacceptable,” she told the crowd. “And we're going to be about the business of making sure those celings crack. So let's get cracking!"
Lisa Lake / Getty Images
Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage at the Pennsylvania Conference For Women 2013 at Philadelphia Convention Center on November 1, 2013 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Clinton's appearance was a big draw for the 10 year-old conference, which typically sees crowds of 5,000-6,000. One group of women told NBC News they're not surprised at the high attendance given today's keynote lineup of Madeleine Albright and Clinton. "I've been coming for 10 years," one Philadelphia professional said. "But I think today we're all waiting for Hillary."
First published November 1 2013, 12:56 PM