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It's Official: Hillary Clinton Announces Presidential Run

Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced today that she is seeking the Democratic presidential nomination for the 2016 election.

"I'm running for president," she says in a video posted this afternoon on the website hillaryclinton.com. "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. I want to be that champion.

On Friday, NPR and other news organizations quoted sources familiar with Clinton's campaign as saying she would make her announcement official today.

The former U.S. senator from New York is the first Democrat to officially announce a presidential run — and she's by far the favorite to win the nomination. Likely Democratic candidates include Vice President Joe Biden, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb, a former U.S. senator from Virginia who previously served as President Reagan's secretary of the Navy.

As New York magazine wrote in an April 5 profile:

"A lot can happen between now and then, but barring something truly unprecedented and totally unforeseen — a meteorite, a Benghazi revelation, a health scare, or a Martin O'Malley groundswell — on July 28, 2016, Hillary Clinton will step onto a stage in Philadelphia. There, surrounded by red-white-and-blue bunting and balloons — as well as Bill, Chelsea, baby granddaughter Charlotte, and tens of thousands of screaming Democrats — she will officially become her party's presidential nominee."

Polls also show the former first lady leading all her possible Republican rivals in a 2016 matchup. But at a similar juncture in 2007, she was the favorite to win her party's presidential nomination for 2008 — a contest she lost to then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Clinton also faces questions about her use of a personal email account while secretary of state, about her role in the Benghazi controversy, and about funds raised by the Clinton Foundation from foreign governments during her tenure at the State Department.

In a response to Clinton's announcement, the Republican National Committee issued a statement calling her trust into question.

"Over decades as a Washington insider, Clinton has left a trail of secrecy, scandal, and failed policies that can't be erased from voters' minds. The Clintons believe they can play by a different set of rules and think they're above transparency, accountability, and ethics," the RNC statement said.

You can follow more detailed coverage of this story on our It's All Politics blog here.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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