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Hillary Clinton throws hat into the ring for race to White House

Clinton announces she will stand for President in two-minute video

By Nevin Farrell

Published 13/04/2015

Front runner: Former first Lady Hillary Clinton has announced her campaign for president
Front runner: Former first Lady Hillary Clinton has announced her campaign for president
Hillary Clinton with First Minister Peter Robinson and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness
Hillary Clinton’s online declaration

A Belfast woman who famously gave Hillary Clinton an old teapot she used for brew-ups in the White House would have been delighted to learn that she could become the next US President, a relative has said.

Joyce McCartan - who lost her youngest son in the Troubles - met Mrs Clinton back in November 1995 at the Lamplighter drop-in centre on the Ormeau Road, a famous moment in the peace process.

Joyce sadly passed away a month later, aged 67.

Last night, Mrs Clinton launched her long-awaited Presidential campaign by presenting herself as "a champion for everyday Americans".

In a video message announcing her candidacy, the former First Lady promised to fight for the traditional American heartland - but also a rapidly-changing country that includes defending the rights of gay people and ethnic minorities.

Joyce's niece, Helen McCartan (49), from the Markets area of south Belfast, said Joyce would have been overjoyed at the thought of Mrs Clinton - wife of former President Bill Clinton - seizing power for herself in the White House.

Helen said: "Joyce would have been delighted at this news and I am glad to hear that too.

"I always thought she would have gone for it. I would like to think it would be good for here."

Joyce McCartan lost 17 members of her wider family, including her youngest son Gary in May 1987 when he was murdered in the family home by loyalist paramilitaries. However, it never made Joyce bitter and she continued to do cross-community work.

Mrs Clinton has been a supporter of women's involvement in Northern Ireland's politics since her first visit, but last night her focus was on her own campaign.

Seven years after her first quest for the White House was derailed by Barack Obama, she made a low-key entry to the race for President, opting for a short online video instead of a campaign rally.

Entitled Getting Started, the two-minute video shows ordinary Americans talking about their hopes for the year. Among them are a Latino businessman speaking in Spanish about opening a business, and a gay couple discussing their upcoming marriage.

The video cuts to Mrs Clinton in front of a home where she says: "I'm getting ready to do something too, I'm running for President. Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favour of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion."

The message is part of Mrs Clinton's effort to show that she is in touch with everyday life.

Quote

Joyce McCartan "gave me an old battered aluminum teapot which kept the tea very warm, which is what I first noticed about it... I took with me to the White House where I used it every single day in the second floor private kitchen."

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