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POLITICS: PennAve

Hillary Clinton shares stage with potential campaign chair

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Politics,Hillary Clinton,2016 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Energy and Environment,John Podesta

Hillary Clinton shared a stage Thursday with John Podesta, the leading candidate to chair her likely presidential campaign.

For now, the only thing Podesta was leading was an interview with the former secretary of state during a discussion at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. Clinton was the evening's keynote speaker.

The friendly discussion allowed Clinton a safe format in which to discuss her policies on energy issues, which would likely be subjected to scrutiny during a presidential campaign.

Clinton's keynote address struck the tone of a stump speech, with sweeping generalizations and hopeful notes.

She decried the "false choice between protecting our environment and growing our economy," an implicit attack on Republicans, while envisioning America as "the clean energy superpower for the 21st century."

Afterward, with the guidance of Podesta, a potential campaign manager according to a report in Politico, Clinton delved more deeply into the interplay between foreign policy and energy, highlighting her tenure at the State Department.

She said she is "cautiously hopeful — not optimistic, hopeful" that China, one of the world's worst polluters, will embrace clean sources of energy.

But Clinton was less hopeful in her assessment of Europe's dependence on Russian energy, as Russia has escalated its military aggression toward Ukraine.

"There was not a sense of urgency" before for Europe to cut energy ties with Russia, Clinton said. "There was still hope over experience that Putin would be reasonable that he wouldn't try to recreate Mother Russia. Those illusions have been shattered, so now they (Europe) just have to commit to a path forward and stick to it."

At the end of the discussion, Podesta and Clinton both seemed pleased with the message.

"I’m quite confident that’s what said in Las Vegas won’t stay in Las Vegas," Podesta laughed, as did Clinton.

Podesta, who served as a chief of staff to former President Bill Clinton, is currently a counselor to President Obama and a central figure in shaping the administration's environmental policy.

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Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner

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