CALGARY — She is the odds-on favourite right now to become the next President of the United States — if she decides to run for the position as one of the world’s most powerful and influential leaders.
But before then, Hillary Rodham Clinton, former U.S. Senator, Secretary of State, and first lady, will pay a visit to Calgary.
Clinton will have a public speaking engagement in the city the morning of Thursday March 6 at the Telus Convention Centre. Tickets for the event will go on sale Tuesday through Ticketmaster.
The event is being produced by Calgary entrepreneurs Christian Darbyshire and Andy McCreath of tinePublic Inc., which in the past has brought to the city such well-known personalities as former U.S. president George W. Bush, former British prime minister Tony Blair, Oprah Winfrey and former California governor and actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Calgary entrepreneurs declined to comment when contacted about Clinton’s visit.
Clinton’s appearance in Calgary is sure to draw plenty of interest.
A recent poll by Washington Post-ABC News has her overwhelmingly positioned as the front-runner in the Democratic Party nomination process for the 2016 presidential campaign. In fact, she was 61 percentage points ahead of U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden — the largest margin in the history of the poll.
But Clinton, wife of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, has not yet tipped her hat on whether or not she will run in the presidential campaign. She would be the first female president in the history of the U.S. if she won.
The graduate of Yale law school was born Oct. 26, 1947 in Chicago.
From 2009 to 2013, she was the 67th Secretary of State serving under President Barack Obama.
Ted Morton, a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Calgary and an executive in residence at the School of Public Policy at the U of C, said he is not surprised that Clinton has an overwhelming initial lead heading into the 2016 presidential election campaign.
“You might recall that back in 2007, 2008 she had an overwhelming lead over all the other candidates including Obama,” said Morton.
He said Clinton has a strong political base with the organized labour movement in the U.S.
“In terms of implications for Alberta and Canada (if Clinton became president) particularly with respect to gas imports and pipelines, labour unions with I think no exceptions support Keystone XL (pipeline from Alberta through the States) because they see its economic value in terms of job creation and probably a lot of them see it in terms of strategic security and not having to see their sons and daughters go halfway around the world to fight wars too,” said Morton.
“Because of her labour union connection, she will be much more open and sensitive to, much more receptive to, a continental energy policy. In other words, continued and even expanded imports from Canada. Having been Secretary of State for four years and spent a heckuva lot of time in the Middle East and seeing how the strategic value of oil drives not just American foreign policy but military commitments and military costs as well, she’ll have a much stronger appreciation of the strategic value of energy security, and again particularly of North American energy security ... On those two points, she would be much more receptive and supportive of an expanded Canada/U.S. energy relationship than Obama has been.”
Morton said that when Clinton was Secretary of State in 2010 she issued the Department of State’s environmental impact statement on Keystone XL, preliminary version, and it said that Keystone XL would have no material negative impact on American interests.
Hillary Clinton speaking in Calgary