Hillary Clinton visits Dartmouth College students & faculty

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Hillary Clinton visits our region to meet students and faculty at Dartmouth College, speaking about U.S. and world affairs while she was at it.

More than 900 people, most of them students, packed Dartmouth’s Hopkins Center for the Arts to listen to the 2016 presidential candidate, former Secretary of State, former U.S. Senator and former First Lady.

Hillary Clinton said that going from a world in which Iran was pursuing a nuclear program to being able to verify that they weren’t anymore was a tremendous relief.

As Secretary of State under President Obama, Clinton played a major role in brokering the Iran nuclear deal.

One year to the day after the U.S. pulled out of it, she says she’s worried there’s a desire within the Trump administration to provoke a confrontation.

“I don’t think we can, unfortunately, rule that out, and there is always — always — the threat of miscalculation,” she said. “Somebody makes a mistake. Somebody on our side, somebody on the Iranian side.”

Where Russia is concerned, Clinton believes President Vladimir Putin’s agenda is to weaken not only American democracy, but all Western democracies. She cites the Mueller report’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the 2016 election and violated U.S. criminal law in the process.

“The idea that our election is being trifled with, being impacted and maybe being determined by Putin and the Kremlin, and his intelligence service, the military, the GRU and all of their assorted allies and agents — that should give us heartburn,” she said.

Clinton says she usually never paid attention to her critics, but what she calls the “conspiracy fetishizing” of the 2016 campaign was different. She says she heard just how different it was from lifelong friends who were out knocking on people’s doors.

“They’d say they were there to ask the person to vote for me, and the person might say, ‘I couldn’t do that; she’s a murderer’,” Clinton said. “I mean, friends from grade school saying, ‘no, she’s not.’ ‘Oh, yeah; I saw it on the internet.’ Well, wouldn’t you think I’d be, as they used to say, locked up by now if that were the case?”

Clinton calls the effort to uplift girls and women worldwide through education, economic development and governmental power the great unfinished business of the 21st century, and she says that work is still unfinished here at home.

“We’ve opened jobs to women that were never available before. We’ve certainly, with Title IX, opened up academics and athletics to women that were not available when I was younger, and the list goes on, so we’ve knocked down a lot of the external barriers,” she said. “In this country right now, I think it’s more internal barriers that stand in the way of young women fulfilling their own potential, however they define it.”

Her advice to girls and young women? Follow your dreams and develop as much self-confidence as possible to overcome those internal barriers.

Dartmouth’s Dickey Center for International Understanding invited Clinton to Hanover. Its director, and another staff member at the center, both worked for her at the State Department.

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