Hillary Clinton is bringing the walls down to show voters a softer side. The New York Times reports that she will open up about her late mother, Dorothy Rodham, tomorrow at a campaign rally on Roosevelt Island. Clinton has long guarded her mother’s privacy and has rarely discussed what the Times frames as Rodham's "devastating" childhood, the tender kindness she received from a teacher (the Times recounts the clever way in which the teacher bought milk for a young, poor Dorothy), and the constant rejection she faced from her own mother. During Clinton’s 2008 campaign to become the first female president, her image was one of ambition and strength, but she wants to appear more relatable this time around.
A CNN survey published earlier this month found that only 47% of people believe the former secretary of state "cares about people like you." Rodham passed away in 2011, and Clinton no longer has to worry about exposing her mother to media scrutiny or judgement from voters. A former senior adviser affirms that discussing Rodham’s past will demonstrate why issues such as providing more opportunities for children and helping a struggling middle class are important to Clinton, and will also humanize the 67-year-old. "She couldn’t go back and do more for her mother, but she could do more for other children who need protection or who need a better chance," explains Ann Lewis. According to the Times, Clinton will continue to discuss her mother as she visits other campaign stops next week.