WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton jumped back into presidential politics on Sunday, announcing her much-awaited second campaign for the White House. "Everyday Americans need a champion. I want to be that champion," she said.
As she did in 2007, Clinton began her campaign for the 2016 Democratic nomination with a video. But rather than follow it with a splashy rally, she instead plans to head to the early-voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire, looking to connect with voters directly at coffee shops, day care centers and some private homes.
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Second shot: Hillary Clinton set to run again for president
Hillary Clinton delivers the keynote address at the 18th annual David N. Dinkins Leadership and Public Policy Forum at Columbia University, in New York, April 29, 2015. AFP PHOTO/TREVOR COLLENS (Photo credit should read TREVOR COLLENS/AFP/Getty Images)
KEENE, NH - APRIL 20: Democratic presidential hopeful and former U.S. Sectetary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to employees of Whitney Brothers, an educational furniture manufacturer, at a round table discussionon April 20, 2015 in Keene, New Hampshire. This marks Clinton's first major political event in New Hampshire after announcing her campaign for president a little over a week ago. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NORWALK, IA - APRIL 15: Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during a roundtable discussion with members of the small business community at Capital City Fruit on April 15, 2015 in Norwalk, Iowa. Hillary Clinton continues to campaign throughout Iowa as she makes her second bid for President of the United States. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE - APRIL 21: Secretary Hillary Clinton participates in a roundtable with administrators, teachers and students, at a Concord technical training community college in Concord, New Hampshire on Tuesday, April 21, 2015. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 16: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on stage during a ceremony to induct her into the Irish America Hall of Fame on March 16, 2015 in New York City. The Irish America Hall of Fame was founded in 2010 and recognizes exceptional figures in the Irish American community. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes part in a discussion on 'our nation's urban centers,' and 'challenges from housing and transportation to education and workforce accessibility.' at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2015. AFP PHOTO/NICHOLAS KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 01: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton attends a round table conversation and press conference announcing a childhood development initiative with first lady of New York City Chirlane McCray on April 1, 2015 in New York City. The initiative is between New York City Children's Cabinet and Too Small to Fail. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 16: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton raises her glass during a toast at a ceremony to induct her into the Irish America Hall of Fame on March 16, 2015 in New York City. The Irish America Hall of Fame was founded in 2010 and recognizes exceptional figures in the Irish American community. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 10: Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to a press conference after keynoting a Women's Empowerment Event at the United Nations on March 10, 2015 in New York City. Clinton answered questions about recent allegations of an improperly used email account during her tenure as Secretary of State. (Photo by Yana Paskova/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton, former U.S. secretary of state, speaks during a news conference at the United Nations (UN) in New York, U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. Clinton defended the legality of her use of a private e-mail account and server while she served as secretary of state, saying that she had done so out of a desire for convenience but should have used a government account for work purposes. Photographer: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 09: Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage with Gates Foundation Co-Chair Melinda Gates and Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton for the official release of the No Ceilings Full Participation Report which coincides with the start of the 59th session of the United Nations' Commission on the Status of Women on March 9, 2015 in New York City. Global and community leaders participated in the program which looked to highlight the findings showing 20 years of global data compiled by No Ceilings reveals that there is more to done to achieve Ãfull and equal participationÃ of women and girls worldwide. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 04: Former United States Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage at the 2014 Massachusetts Conference for Women at Boston Convention & Exhibition Center on December 4, 2014 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Massachusetts Conference for Women)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: Hillary Clinton attends the New-York Historical Society 2014 History Makers Gala at Mandarin Oriental Hotel on November 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 21: Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the Cookstoves Future Summit on November 21, 2014 in New York City. Clinton, who is the Leadership Council Chair for the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, spoke to donors, activists and members of the media on the importance of clean cookstoves for families in parts of the developing world. Globally, 3 billion people rely on solid fuels to cook. This has resulted in polluted household air that kills over 4 million people every year and sickening millions more. The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves looks to replace old stoves with more efficient and cleaner one's which would drastically reduce the negative health issues associated with older stoves. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA - NOVEMBER 01: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton campaigns for U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) during the 'Women with Mary Geaux Vote' event at the Sugar Mill on November 1, 2014 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Landrieu is faced off against two Republicans for the senate seat, Rep. Bill Cassidy and retired Air Force Colonel Rob Maness. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - OCTOBER 15: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reaches for U.S. Senate Democratic candidate and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) while campaigning for Grimes October 15, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. Grimes remains locked in a tight race with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with midterm elections less than three weeks away. Also pictured is Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear (L). (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 23: Former U.S. Secretary of State and U.S. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton smiles while Incumbent New York Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a 'Women for Cuomo' campaign event on October 23, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York, NY. Cuomo was joined by Clinton who, citing his record on women's rights, endorsed him in the upcoming gubernatorial election on November 4, 2014. U.S. Rep. Kathy Hochul, the Democratic nominee for New York Lt. Gov., also spoke at the event. (Photo by Bryan Thomas/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 24: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), on September 24, 2014 in New York City. The annual meeting, established in 2005 by President Clinton, convenes global leaders to discuss solutions to world problems. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 21: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during the 8th Annual Clinton Global Citizen Awards at Sheraton Times Square on September 21, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 06: Former president of United States (US) Bill Clinton (R) and his wife, former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L), leave St. Ignatius Loyola Church after the funeral of former three-term governor Mario Cuomo on January 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Selcuk Acar/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 20: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) (L-R) Hillary Clinton, Michael Esper and Bill Clinton pose backstage at the hit musical 'The Last Ship' on Broadway at The Neil Simon Theater on December 20, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Event honoree Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks on stage during the 2014 Robert F. Kennedy Ripple Of Hope Awards at the New York Hilton on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: (L-R) Tony Bennett, Donato Tramuto, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Kerry Kennedy, Ethel Kennedy, and Robert De Niro attend the RFK Ripple Of Hope Gala at Hilton Hotel Midtown on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RFK Ripple Of Hope)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 16: Honoree Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) accepts an award from Ethel Kennedy at the RFK Ripple Of Hope Gala at Hilton Hotel Midtown on December 16, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for RFK Ripple Of Hope)
EAST HAMPTON, NY - AUGUST 16: Hillary Rodham Clinton signs copies of her book 'Hard Choices' at BookHampton on August 16, 2014 in East Hampton, New York. (Photo by Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images)
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrives to sign her book 'Hards Choices' at the Bunch of Grapes bookstore on Martha's Vineyard on August 13, 2014. Clinton on August 12 denied attacking US President Barack Obama over his foreign policy in Syria and Iraq, insisting she was looking forward to 'hugging it out' with the US leader when they meet at a party later this week. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 23: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a during a round table event to launch the 'Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing' campaign at the
Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute on July 23, 2014 in Oakland, California. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the 'Talking is Teaching; Talk Read Sing' campaign in partnership withToo Small to Fail and the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Foundation that encourages parents and caregivers to close the word gap by talking, singing and reading to children every day from the birth. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) and US President barack Obama (R) are greeted by Myanmar pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi (C) at her residence in Yangon on November 19, 2012 . Obama arrived in Myanmar for a historic visit aimed at encouraging a string of dramatic political reforms in the former pariah state. AFP PHOTO / Nicolas ASFOURI (Photo credit should read NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) looks on as US President Barack Obama (2nd L) speaks during a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (2nd R) on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on November 20, 2012. During the two-day East Asia Summit in Phnom Penh, Obama was scheduled to hold talks with the leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) along with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Japan's Yoshihiko Noda. AFP PHOTO / Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton board Air Force One at the airport in Yangon on November 19, 2012. Huge crowds greeted Barack Obama in Myanmar on the first visit by a serving US president to the former pariah state to encourage a string of startling political reforms. AFP PHOTO/Jewel Samad (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States, speaks during the presentation of the German translation of her book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama(2nd-L), First Lady Michelle Obama(L) along with former president Bill Clinton(3rd-L) and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton(4th-L) take part in a wreath-laying ceremony in honour of the late 35th president of the US John F. Kennedy at Kennedy's gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery on November 20, 2013 in Arlington, Virginia. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN (Photo credit should read MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - JUNE 20: Hillary Rodham Clinton appears on stage during 'A Conversation With Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton' at the Long Center on June 20, 2014 in Austin, Texas. (Photo by Gary Miller/Getty Images)
BERLIN, GERMANY - JULY 06: Hillary Rodham Clinton, former United States Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, and First Lady of the United States (R), speaks next to Christoph Amend, editor in chief of Zeit Magazin, during the presentation of the German translation of her book 'Hard Choices' ('Entscheidungen' in German) at the Staatsoper in the Schiller Theater on July 6, 2014 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits to speak at the World Bank May 14, 2014 in Washington, DC. Former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton and World Bank President Jim Yong Kim joined others to speak about women's rights. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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"So I'm hitting the road to earn your vote. Because it's your time. And I hope you'll join me on this journey," Clinton said at the end of a video, which features a series of men, women and children describing their aspirations.
This voter-centric approach was picked with a purpose, to show that Clinton is not taking the nomination for granted. Only after about a month of such events will Clinton will give a broader speech outlining more specifics about her rationale for running.
The former secretary of state, senator and first lady enters the race in a strong position to succeed her rival from the 2008 campaign, President Barack Obama.
Her message will focus on strengthening economic security for the middle class and expanding opportunities for working families. The campaign is portraying her as a "tenacious fighter" who can get results and work with Congress, business and world leaders.
"Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times. But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion," she said in the video.
"So you can do more than just get by. You can get ahead and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong."
Clinton's strategy, described ahead of the announcement by two senior advisers who requested anonymity to discuss her plans, has parallels to Obama's approach in 2012. He framed his re-election as a choice between Democrats focused on the middle class and Republicans who sought to protect the wealthy and return to policies that led the country into recession.
Clinton will face pressure from the progressive wing of her party to adopt a more populist economic message focused on income inequality. Some liberals remain skeptical of Clinton's close ties to Wall Street donors and the centrist economic policies of her husband's administration. They have urged her to back tougher financial regulations and tax increases on the wealthy.
"It would do her well electorally to be firmly on the side of average working people who are working harder than ever and still not getting ahead," said economist Robert Reich, a former labor secretary during the Clinton administration who has known Hillary Clinton for nearly five decades.
The GOP did not wait for her announcement to begin their campaign against her. The party's chairman, Reince Priebus, has outlined plans for a broad effort to try to undermine her record as secretary of state while arguing that her election would be like giving Obama a "third term."
Republicans have jumped on Clinton's use of a personal email account and server while she was secretary of state, as well as her handling of the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in his own online video, said Sunday: "We must do better than the Obama-Clinton foreign policy that has damaged relationships with our allies and emboldened our enemies."
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who launched his presidential campaign last week, also pointed to the Clinton family's foundation, which has drawn criticism from Republicans for raising money from foreign governments.
Paul said it was hypocritical for the foundation to accept money from Saudi Arabia, which places public restrictions on the movement and activity of women, while Clinton carries forward with her long-standing effort to improve in women's rights.
"I would expect Hillary Clinton if she believes in women's rights, she should be calling for a boycott of Saudi Arabia," Paul said on NBC's "Meet the Press." `'Instead, she's accepting tens of millions of dollars."
Clinton is the first Democrat to get into the race, but there are some lower-profile Democrats considering challenging her, including former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.
The party's nominee will have to overcome history to win election. In the last half-century, the same party has held the White House for three consecutive terms only once, during the administrations of Republicans Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
The 2016 campaign is likely to be the most expensive in history, with total spending on both sides expected to well exceed the $1 billion spent four years ago. This weekend, Clinton campaign fundraisers escalated their outreach to Democratic donors, who largely back her bid, with a flurry of phone calls urging them to donate as soon as possible.
Clinton's formal entrance into the race also triggered the start of more aggressive fundraising by Democratic outside super political action committees such as Priorities USA Action that have been reorganized to promote her campaign.
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Second shot: Hillary Clinton set to run again for president