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From ‘I’m In’ to ‘It’s Your Time’: Clinton’s Announcements Then and Now

On January 20, 2007, Hillary Clinton’s message in announcing her presidential exploratory committee was clear.

“I’m in, and I’m in to win,” read her campaign Web site.

Eight years later, her campaign appears to have taken to heart complaints that her early messages in 2008 were too focused on Clinton and her own ambitions rather than her plans to lead the country and win voters’ trust.

Her 2 minute and 18 second web video, posted on Sunday, features a full 90 seconds of regular Americans talking about their plans for the future before Clinton appears. One woman mentions her springtime gardening; another young mother describes an upcoming move; a college graduate outlines her job search; and a gay couple talks about their upcoming wedding.

Clinton’s message now attempts to paint her someone with much in common with those regular folks.

“I’m getting ready to do something too. I’m running for president,” she says. “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”

In her 42-second video announcement in 2007, she used the pronoun “I” eleven times, even as she urged Americans to engage in “a conversation” with her about how to mend the nation’s woes.

Speaking about the American ideal of upward mobility, she said in that video “I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America, and we believed in that promise. I still do. I've spent my entire life trying to make good on it.”

But in her new announcement, she appears to emphasize the idea of “you” rather than “I” or “us.”

“So you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead. And STAY ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong,” she says. “So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote. Because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey.”