Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign announcement Sunday afternoon made one thing abundantly clear: this isn't 2008—and it's not all about her.
The former secretary of State's video announcement, posted to her website and Facebook page, is 2 minutes and 18 seconds long, but the candidate herself doesn't appear until the 1:32 mark. Instead, most of the video consists of voters talking about what they're getting ready for in their lives: a mother who's returning to work after 5 years of raising her children, a couple having a child, and a same-sex couple preparing to get married.
It's a break from her first presidential campaign launch in 2007, when she also began with an online video—but one in which Clinton, sitting on a couch and speaking direct-to-camera, was the only person in the entire video.
"My daughter is about to start kindergarten next year, and so we're moving just so she can belong to a better school," one woman says as her young daughter plays next to her. "My brother and I are starting our first business," a man says in Spanish (with subtitles along the bottom). "Right now I'm applying for jobs. It's a look into what the real world will look like after college," a young woman says.
The video features people of all ages, races and walks of life: there's a young Asian-American college student looking for a job, an African American couple preparing for a new baby, a Hispanic family opening a business and a gay couple preparing for their wedding.
Clinton comes on sitting at a table with a cup of coffee in front of her and voters on either side. "I'm getting ready to do something too," she says. "I'm running for president."
She goes on to talk about how, despite the economic recovery, "the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top." "Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion, so you can do more than just get by—you can get ahead, and stay ahead," she says. "Because when families are strong, America is strong."
Clinton promises to hit the campaign trail "to earn your vote, because it's your time and I hope you'll join me on this journey."
In January 2007, Clinton's announcement was heavy on foreign policy, talking about an end to the war in Iraq. Her 2016 announcement doesn't make any mention of international issues or foreign policy.
"I announced today that I'm forming a presidential exploratory committee," she said. "I'm not just starting a campaign, though—I'm beginning a conversation, with you, with America."
Clinton's 2008 campaign was criticized for being overly confident, projecting an air of inevitability that ultimately came crashing down with the emergence and early victories of then-Sen. Barack Obama.
Her aides have long vowed that 2016 would be different—and her campaign launch certainly confirms that. As Clinton heads to Iowa and New Hampshire for the series of smaller, more intimate events that will reintroduce her to American voters in the next few weeks, the key question will be whether she's able to project that same message in person to voters.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.