Last Updated:October 25 @ 08:07 am

Hillary Clinton receives Liberty Medal

By Philadelphia Inquirer (PA)

(File Photo - AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton received the 2013 Liberty Medal during a Tuesday night ceremony at which a small but noisy band of protesters provided a continuous, punctuating soundtrack.

"In a democracy, citizens cannot sit on the sidelines. They have to get into the arena, as Teddy Roosevelt said, and participate," Clinton said. "Sometimes, it can get pretty noisy."

She referred, though, not to the shouts and chants that carried into the outdoor ceremony at the National Constitution Center -- "Free the Constitution!" a man yelled -- but to the political and partisan debates of the modern age.

She did not say whether she would run for president. She largely avoided the Syria crisis, saying that the use of chemical weapons demanded a strong response and that the heated national debate over options was good for democracy.

Other remarks centered on America's leading role in the world, the glory of the Constitution, and a call for an involved citizenry.

"I am honored and overwhelmed by this extraordinary event," she said.

Throughout the ceremony, attended by about 1,300 gathered on the front lawn of the Constitution Center, 12 to 14 sign-waving protesters kept up a chorus.

Mayor Nutter acknowledged the obvious intrusion into the center's most important annual event.

"We are experiencing, everyone, their freedom of speech, and that is a good thing in the United States of America, to be able to have that," Nutter said.

Standing on the south side of Arch Street, directly across from the center, men and women held up placards painted to look as if they had been streaked with blood and bearing the word Benghazi.

They referenced the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the American diplomatic mission in Libya, in which four Americans were killed, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

"I'm appalled that she is receiving the Liberty Medal," said Bernadette Repisky of Warminster. "They're still lying to the American people. And she wants to be president? No way."

Repisky, 50, said she had come on her own, though other demonstrators belonged to a tea party group, the Delaware County Patriots.

As Clinton spoke of the need for active citizenship, about 100 people were already engaged in it, gathering at the Finnigan's Wake pub to cheer her remarks and urge her to run for president during a rally organized by the super-PAC Ready for Hillary.

There was applause, war whoops, and a chant or two of "2016!" People laughed knowingly when former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the Constitution Center chairman, mentioned the wisdom of voters in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, the states that hold some of the earliest presidential nominating contests.

"Personally, I think it's high time we had a female president," said Deb Mandour of York County, who traveled 2 1/2 hours to attend. "I'm hoping she'll run again. I think she will."

Video tributes

At the Constitution Center, government officials, dignitaries, and musicians celebrated Clinton in word and song.

Fifty performers from the Bright Hope Baptist Community Singers and the Princeton Girlchoir sang "I Believe I Can Fly." Aimee Mann sang, too. Video tributes were offered by everyone from former British Prime Minister Tony Blair to the actor Ted Danson, from tennis legend Billie Jean King to Queen Rania of Jordan. Even Gov. Corbett, a Republican, had a kind word to say about Clinton.

She received the medal in recognition of her career in public service and her continuing advocacy on behalf of women and girls around the globe. Last year the Liberty Medal was awarded to Muhammad Ali. The medal comes with a $100,000 prize.

Clinton, 65, ended a four-year term as the nation's 67th secretary of state on Feb. 1. Her career included eight years in the Senate and eight in the White House as first lady. Since stepping down as secretary, she has been seen as the front-runner for the Democratic nomination in 2016.

Ready for Hillary is up and operating, signing up 800,000 supporters and raising $1.25 million in the first half of the year. In June, Clinton addressed the topic of her candidacy while not addressing it, saying she hoped the nation would see a female president in her lifetime.

'Not talking'

The backing from donors, the coy responses to questions about her plans, the maintenance of a national profile -- all are part of a prepresidential campaign machinery that must be kept operating even if the ultimate decision is not to run, said professor Matthew Kerbel, chairman of the political science department at Villanova University, where he studies the presidency.

"The only person who really knows is Hillary, and she's not talking," he said. "But if she were running for president, that's exactly what she would do."

If Clinton runs, Kerbel said, she'll be formidable.

Many Democrats believe that electing the nation's first female president would be an appropriate follow-up to having seated the first African American. That was on the minds of many who attended the medal ceremony.

University of Pennsylvania president Amy Gutmann, a center board member, noted that only a few decades ago, it would have been impossible to imagine a woman at the head of a major university, as secretary of state, and as "something many of us can't wait to celebrate, the first woman president of the United States."

Inquirer staff writer Thomas Fitzgerald contributed to this article.

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29 Comments

  1. teapartyproudComment by teapartyproud
    September 12, 2013 @ 6:27 am

    What a disgusting, duplicitous, socialist slimebag excuse for a human being. She makes my skin crawl.

    I wonder if females will vote in lockstep for her like blacks do for Obama?

    Obama accomplished a seemingly impossible feat by being a more audacious liar than Billy Boy. Can Hillary outdo them both? I’m betting that she can and will. There’s not a shred of conscience between the three of them.

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    • kathyduComment by kathydu
      September 12, 2013 @ 9:45 am

      I am a female and I wouldn’t vote for this piece of **** even if she were the last person on earth. She is a vicious, self-serving, self-absorbed hunk of putrid meat who is taking up valuable space on earth. She and her buddy OBUMMER need to be exterminated like the vermin each of them are.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (30 votes cast)
    • rocknrobynComment by rocknrobyn
      September 12, 2013 @ 10:22 am

      teapartyproud and Kathydu…you’all said a mouthful. She has never worried about dead bodies before, why start now? “Remember Benghazi” should be a rallying cry…

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    • rrg51Comment by rrg51
      September 12, 2013 @ 11:35 am

      Tragically for the USA, the uninformed electorate will have the attitude “at this point, what difference does it make?”

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      September 12, 2013 @ 12:59 pm

      Just one little correction: the former hag of state is not a socialist–she is a dyed-in-the-wool COMMUNIST as is the former slob of the WH. Like begets like.

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    • westtexaslibraryladyComment by westtexaslibrarylady
      September 12, 2013 @ 4:19 pm

      Having a female president would be a good thing only if the individual were actually qualified. And there are several women who really do have the experience, devotion to this country, and backbone to do the job well. Just now Hillary, I guess we don’t hear much from those other women because they’re actually doing their jobs and don’t have time play the political games. Since it’s been a long time since we’ve actually had a qualified individual serving in the White House, there are a lot of people who have learned to expect that being president is just something you show up for.

      This rallying cry that Hillary should be president because it would such a historical following to the first “black” president totally ignores the concept that it’s a serious job requiring serious skills (of course I’m sure there are many that would argue — Bill and Barack both learned “on the job” after coming into the job with a thimble-full of experience and qualification). Though she has mastered the arts of lying, cheating, covering-her-a**, and changing the subject, so maybe she’s as qualified as what we’ve got. It’s creepy that so many people would embrace the idea.

      And of course we mustn’t forget her vast experience gained by being First Lady. I think the next time I need surgery, I’ll just ask the surgeon’s wife to do it. And look at all the good she did as Sec of State. Gag.

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  2. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    September 12, 2013 @ 6:38 am

    if you look up satans spawn in dictionary you will see her ugly mug there.nothing is sacred to her or her oversexed pervert of a husband.they have put themselves above the country and that is a shameful disgusting thing.

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  3. hdmaniaComment by hdmania
    September 12, 2013 @ 9:53 am

    Hitlery is the last person we would want for Prez..Her and Obummer are in a contest to see who can lie the most..arrogant *****..

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    • mvotano58Comment by mvotano58
      September 12, 2013 @ 12:04 pm

      “Hitlery” now that is funny. If you don’t mind I may use that in other discussions about that woman(?). An no I wouldn’t vote for her either.

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    • sumitchComment by sumitch
      September 13, 2013 @ 2:25 am

      “Personally, I think it’s high time we had a female president,” said Deb Mandour of York County”.

      You betcha. That’s what’s wrong with this country. We need a female President. I wonder why Ms. Mandour believes this. Could it be that she believes that white males have been our problem all along? Will a female President make everything all better?

      Has the Presidency become the loving cup or blue ribbon for blacks, females, Hispanics etc. etc. so we can continue this asinine rush to see who can be the most PC? Let’s not worry about affiliations, education, previous political offices or qualifications (we didn’t with the current boarder in the White House), why start now? It’s more important to fill in the squares apparently.

      Personally I’m waiting for a lying, one eyed, draft dodging and war mongering Muslim from Chechnya with hammer toes posing as a Jew. That’s what it’s high time for.

      (With all due respect for Jews and le fems)

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  4. skopiiComment by skopii
    September 12, 2013 @ 10:36 am

    Notice how the Republican(?) Bush family is cozy with Obama, and Jeb Bush, just gave Hillary, a medal? Is this the working of the “in” clique, trying to establish a front runner and foist “their pick” on the rest of us, for President? Did you take notice of the two “anti-constituency” recalls in Colorado. Is the dynamic changing? Are politicians experiencing fear? Can we accelerate the dynamics change? We can, if we: “Vote Incumbents Out!” Thank You.

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  5. jenerseaComment by jenersea
    September 12, 2013 @ 10:44 am

    Last year they gave it to a Draft Dodger that should have went to Prison. This year they give it to someone who cared nothing about and did nothing about preventing Americans being killed in Benghazi,and should be in Prison. Can’t wait to see who they come up with for next year. Probably Hassan or Manning. Bush is politically dead over performing this deed. Moron ought to have known better. How did he stand up there and not blow chunks the whole time?

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    • mvotano58Comment by mvotano58
      September 12, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

      Knowing these folks it may just be Trayvon Martin posthumously. He is after all getting an asteroid named after him. SMH

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      Rating: 4.9/5 (7 votes cast)
  6. ron389Comment by ron389
    September 12, 2013 @ 10:48 am

    Makes complete sense: She gets the Peace Medal for her part in Benghazi, and Obama got the Nobel Peace Prize and is trying to start WWIII.

    Next, maybe the current administration will start hosting an awards show to hand out honors to the people who are best at scamming the government for entitlements.

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  7. ewljrComment by ewljr
    September 12, 2013 @ 11:03 am

    Liberty Medal now a joke like Obama getting the PEACE prize ……

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    • skopiiComment by skopii
      September 12, 2013 @ 11:40 am

      Most politicians are jokes, bad jokes. “Vote Incumbents Out!” Thank You.

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      Rating: 5.0/5 (11 votes cast)
  8. rzraickComment by rzraick
    September 12, 2013 @ 11:41 am

    She would be a perfect successor to Obama. Both liars and both murderers.

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    • sexysadieComment by sexysadie
      September 12, 2013 @ 1:03 pm

      She would be worse…much, much worse. She is a RABID communist. At least BO doesn’t foam at the mouth…

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  9. nhpollackComment by nhpollack
    September 12, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    She, like Obama, was an Alinsky acolyte and wrote her senior thesis about him while at Wellesley. Going from Obama to La Clinton would be like migrating from the liquids section of a septic tank to the solids section.

    Imagine the contest in 2016 between Dr. Ben Carson and La Clinton. I’m sure, as far as we’ve fallen, she would win and I think the same voter apathy that resulted in fewer votes for Romney than McCain after four years of Obama’s incompetent to the point of treasonous sabotage would prevail. It would be interesting to observe from another planet.

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  10. mvotano58Comment by mvotano58
    September 12, 2013 @ 12:10 pm

    Let the voter fraud begin.

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    • aretiredgiComment by aretiredgi
      September 12, 2013 @ 12:19 pm

      MV, what do you mean begin? It started in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since.

      DUMP EVERY INCUMBENT NEXT YEARS ELECTIONS REGARDLESS OF PARTY. RETURN THE USA TO IT'S CITIZENS.

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  11. JDZComment by JDZ
    September 12, 2013 @ 3:48 pm

    The Liberty Medal…the Nobel Peace Prize,…we have this self serving irresponsible group of career elected politicians in one form or the other, one sex or the other…all of them self absorbed in themselves and the atmosphere of “royalty” they have created for themselves in Washington. They all, regardless of political party, are failing to do their job as every major problem this country is facing was created by the federal government, not the American public. Yes, the voting public elected losers like Obama who then stacked the deck in his administration with trained Alinsky students, but our Congress has been involved from day one and they along with the Supreme Court are complicit in the laws, regulations, and policies adopted by the government.

    The mainstream media and the big labor unions have chosen sides and have decided that the America established by our founders and documented by our Constitution and Bill of Rights is flawed and must be changed. They believe that our form of capitalism and culture built around individual freedom and the right to choose our destiny is not fair and that this country should be “transformed” into a socialist country run by a central government who decides what we can or cannot do.

    Hillary Clinton and her husband, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and thousands of other socialist/communist sympathizers have infiltrated every major institution in the country including our governments at all levels. This has been in the making for several decades.

    We are in trouble and the last chance to stop this is coming in 2014 and 2016 as these elections will set the stage for decades to come. If these radical leftists are left in control of Congress and the Whitehouse for another couple of terms, the damage will be too great to overcome maybe for a generation, if ever.

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  12. guardsmanComment by guardsman
    September 12, 2013 @ 3:52 pm

    What a crock of **** You are directly responsible for the deaths of 4 americans and she receives a medal

    Where has USA stooped so low

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  13. cxComment by genesal
    September 12, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

    Hillary is ‘One World’. She had her own ‘Cackle’ corner at FireSociety when she ran for pRez.

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  14. bowler1hatComment by bowler1hat
    September 12, 2013 @ 5:09 pm

    Considering the direction Clinton is going, a medal for treason is likely her next step up! What a disgrace!

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  15. davebnmComment by davebnm
    September 12, 2013 @ 5:13 pm

    Maybe they will give her and Chelsea a Bravery Medal for “dodging” sniper bullets in Bosnia?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I23fjRN-PGc

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  16. KBBComment by KBB
    September 12, 2013 @ 11:49 pm

    “Personally, I think it’s high time we had a female president,” said Deb Mandour of York County,….”

    I whole-heartedly agree! Palin in 2016!

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    • nhpollackComment by nhpollack
      September 13, 2013 @ 11:01 am

      KBB,

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    • nhpollackComment by nhpollack
      September 13, 2013 @ 11:09 am

      KBB,

      I strongly second the nomination! Had the ABO (Anybody But Obama) voters exhibited enough interest in the survival of their Republic to have come out to vote, John “I’m a maverick” McCain would have been overcome by his apparent senility, she would have become president and we’d be flourishing rather than floundering. If not Ms. Palin, Michele Bachmann, Marsha Blackburn or Mia Love would have been fine with me.

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