Clinton lauds her mother in first campaign ads

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Call for Shift from "Quarterly Capitalism" conference at the New York University in New York on July 24 this year.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the Call for Shift from "Quarterly Capitalism" conference at the New York University in New York on July 24 this year. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will air her first 2016 campaign television ads on Tuesday, with tributes to her mother that stress resilience, empathy and family.

The two-minute-long spots will air in early voting states Iowa and New Hampshire from Tuesday and appear aimed to stress Mrs Clinton's connection to average Americans and their everyday struggles.

Tax data released by Mrs Clinton's campaign on Friday indicated she and husband Bill Clinton earned well over $100 million in the last eight years, paying $57.5 million in taxes.

In the first video, Clinton tells the story of her mother Dorothy Howell Rodham: "She was abandoned by her parents at the age of eight, sent from Chicago to LA to live with grandparents who didn't want her."

"But people showed her kindness, gave her a chance... When she needed a champion, someone was there. I think about all the Dorothys all over America who fight for their families, who never give up.

"That's why I'm doing this. That's why I've always done this. For all the Dorothys."

The second ad focuses on her mother's story and the qualities she tried to embody.

"She never gave up, and she taught me to do the same," said a narrator, going on to list some of Mrs Clinton's efforts to help children.

The Clinton campaign will hope that the ads help reintroduce one of America's most famous and polarising figures to voters.

Mrs Clinton currently leads the Democratic field by a wide margin, but according to pollsters, she is more disliked than liked among the broader electorate.

A recent Gallup poll showed Clinton favorable ratings stand at 43 per cent, while unfavorable ratings were at 46 per cent.

A former First Lady, Secretary of State and New York Senator, Mrs Clinton has been in the public eye for decades.

Her long exposure has proven both a strength and weakness, projecting competence, but offering a long past dotted with scandals- real and imagined.