Clinton Campaigns at Dartmouth College

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Hanover — During a Tuesday afternoon forum hosted by Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton argued that workplace equality for women would lead to economic growth in the United States.

“Every country in the world would see their (gross domestic product) go up if women were full participants in the economy, and we need that here at home,” Clinton, a Democrat, said during the event, held in Spaulding Auditorium. “We can’t afford to leave any talent on the sidelines.”

Former New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, who teaches at Tuck, moderated the forum, which was the third in a series of economic discussions with presidential candidates.

During her remarks, Clinton called for paid sick leave and family leave, as well as equal pay for women and men.

“Policies like these,” she said, “are often seen as luxuries or kind of dismissed as family issues or even women’s issues — as though that somehow makes them less important — but in fact they are growth strategies.”

Clinton’s vision of growth by inclusion extended to immigrants, a point that afforded her a swing at Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has called for the deportation of undocumented immigrants.

“You know what else is a strategy for strong growth?” she asked. “Comprehensive immigration reform. Now, Mr. Trump may not admit it, but it’s actually true.”

If undocumented immigrants were able to join the formal economy, she said, the Congressional Budget Office has estimated the United States would reduce the national debt by $700 billion over 10 years.

“The politics of immigration reform may seem complex,” Clinton added, “but the economics are pretty straightforward.”

Though Clinton remains ahead in the nationwide Democratic race, in the New Hampshire primary she is level with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, whose name she did not mention on Tuesday.

Sanders has found support among millennials throughout his surge in the polls this summer, and was one of the first presidential candidates this cycle to issue an educational finance plan.

Yet the populist Sanders, who is scheduled to appear today in Lebanon for the city’s Veterans Day parade, had not won over every Dartmouth student in attendance.

Ava Giglio, a freshman waiting in line for the event, said she had “no interest in Bernie Sanders,” who she said was making promises too grand to fulfill.

“He’s like that kid in a student council election that promises everybody a free snack bar,” she said.

Instead, Giglio said, she was a Clinton supporter.

“I like what she stands for” in terms of women’s rights, she said, “and I think it’s time for a female president.”

During the event, Clinton recognized that her election could make history, but stretched for a broader campaign message.

“When you’re a woman running for president, you hear the words ‘glass ceiling’ a lot,” she said. “And many people think that shattering that highest, hardest glass ceiling, that’s a goal worth pursuing, and — no surprise — I happen to agree with them. But I am running for president because I want every American to go as far as his or her talent and hard work can take them.”

Clinton also struck several notes tuned to the collegiate crowd, including reiterating her support for debt-free tuition at public colleges and universities and for the ability to refinance educational loans.

“Anyone with the talent or work ethic should be able to get a college education,” she said. “It is simply wrong that something so indispensable should be so expensive.”

She drew cheers from the crowd of nearly 1,000 when she mentioned her visits to Dartmouth as an undergraduate at Wellesley College.

“I did come up here for a blind date for Winter Carnival,” she said, as audience members whooped and laughed. “The date was OK, but the carnival was excellent.”

Though she did not mention his name, her date was Robert Reich, who later served in the presidential cabinet of her husband, Bill Clinton.

During a question and answer, Tuck student Chris Foley asked Clinton to address her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which she recently announced she does not support.

Clinton acknowledged that while international negotiations still were underway, she had called the emerging agreement a “gold standard” for free-trade pacts, but said Tuesday that the final product had not been all she had hoped for.

The former secretary of state said she was disappointed that measures against foreign currency manipulation, which she said had hurt the American economy, had not figured in the accord.

“At the end of this very tough, long negotiation, I don’t think it did as much as I would have wanted to see, so I did come out against it,” she said. “That doesn’t mean I’m against trade.”

Republican presidential candidates Lindsey Graham, a U.S. Senator from South Carolina, and George Pataki, a former governor of New York, also have visited the campus as part of the Tuck School’s series.

Prior to the Dartmouth event, Clinton made campaign stops in Manchester and Derry, N.H.

Rob Wolfe can be reached at

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