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Hillary Clinton watch: What's behind Hillary's Big Issue speaking tour?

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Eric Risberg/AP

(Read caption) Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks at the American Bar Association Annual Meeting on Monday. Mrs. Clinton spoke about maintaining the Voting Rights Act and received a medal from the association.

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In the first of a series of speeches on the erosion of Americans’ faith in government, Hillary Rodham Clinton laid out a case Monday night in support of the Voting Rights Act.

“Anyone that says that racial discrimination is no longer a problem in American elections must not be paying attention,” Mrs. Clinton said during the American Bar Association’s annual gathering in San Francisco.

Any high-profile public appearance by the former secretary of State stokes buzz that she's likely to launch a presidential bid for 2016. But what's notable about Monday night's address is that her comments were plainly political in nature – and clearly targeted to the Democratic Party base.

When Clinton ran for the White House in 2008 as the presumed front-runner, she found herself in a sustained primary battle with then-Sen. Barack Obama, and it was Senator Obama, despite his newness to the national scene, who made a love connection with the liberal Democrats who tend to vote in primary contests.

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