By COLLEEN MCCAIN NELSON – – – – –
After romping to victory in South Carolina, Hillary Clinton came to Tennessee Sunday with a call for “love and kindness” and some early hints of a general-election message.
Speaking at two African-American churches in Memphis, the former secretary of state made no mention of Democratic rival Sen. Bernie Sanders but offered a not-so-subtle rebuttal to GOP front-runner Donald Trump’s pledge to “make American great again.”
“America has never stopped being great,” Mrs. Clinton told parishioners at Greater Imani Cathedral of Faith. “Our task is to make America whole.”
While Mr. Trump declined to disavow an endorsement from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, Mrs. Clinton pledged to knock down barriers as president and tackle systemic racism.
The former secretary of state, who notched a lopsided win Saturday in South Carolina, subtly began to shift her message Sunday to a possible November match-up. With stops in Memphis and Nashville, Mrs. Clinton launched a 48-hour sprint to Super Tuesday that will take her to Arkansas, Massachusetts and Virginia as well.
Mrs. Clinton’s 48-percentage-point win in South Carolina provides her with a burst of momentum ahead of Tuesday’s contests and is expected to have particular resonance in other southern states.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll showed the former secretary of state with substantial leads, ranging from 21 to 34 points, over Mr. Sanders in Georgia, Tennessee and Texas.
Mr. Sanders said Saturday night that his campaign is just beginning.
In Memphis, Mrs. Clinton continued to deliver the more aspirational message that has emerged in her stump speeches during recent weeks, saying that the country needs to move away from mean-spiritedness and divisiveness in political rhetoric and daily life.
“It may sound odd coming from someone running for president, but I think we need more love and kindness,” she said. “That should not be reserved for Sunday morning.”