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Hillary Clinton seeks to win over workers in first presidential rally

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has launched her bid to become the first female US president. Speaking in New York, Clinton unveiled her progressive platform, calling for tax breaks and universal preschool.

Speaking to thousands of supporters at her inaugural campaign rally in New York on Saturday, Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton said she would fight to elevate the poor and middle class sectors of US society.

"You have to wonder, when does my hard work pay off? When does my family get ahead? When? I say now," she told those gathered at the outdoor rally.

Outlining her vision for equal opportunity and civil rights for all, Clinton spoke in the city where she served as a senator for eight years, outlining her security and foreign policy credentials.

The former first lady, whose huband Bill was president from 1993 to 2001, said advantages had been given to the country's wealthy and corporations which had resulted in record profits and salaries for company chief executives.

The 67-year-old emphasized she was not standing to be president only for the privileges but "to make the middle class meaningful again" and "to give the poor the chance to work their way into it."

Clinton's remarks on Saturday were billed as the official launch of her presidential campaign, despite weeks of campaigning in the key states of Iowa and New Hampshire.

Waving red, blue and white flags, Clinton supporters crowded into the Franklin D Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park on New York's Roosevelt Island where she was joined by her husband and former president Bill, their daughter Chelsea and son-in-law Marc Mezvinsky.

"I may not be the youngest candidate in this race. But I will be the youngest woman president in the history of the United States," Clinton told her fans. "And the first woman grandmother."

jlw/rc (AFP, dpa)

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