As Hillary Clinton announced her much-anticipated campaign for president Sunday, several residents near her Brooklyn Heights headquarters voiced mixed feelings on her candidacy.
“It’s about time,” said Risa Levine, 52, a real estate lawyer who lives in the Finacial District. She volunteered in 2008 and is prepared for another campaign. “We’re ready to get on the road. We have not had in our lifetime anyone — male or female — as experienced as she is.
“She’s ready and we’re ready and the United States of America needs a candidate who can hit the ground running,” Levine added.
Tom D’Angora, 36, who’s originally from Boston, volunteered with Levine in ’08 and plans on doing the same now. He high-fived and hugged Levine when they got the official news.
“We deserve a president that dedicated,” he said, getting very excited when they heard the campaign website went live. “It feels amazing. The party will never be as united as they will be under Hillary — with a non-incumbent, of course.
“And now the work starts,” he added.
Public school teacher Carmen Applewhite, 47, said she’s excited to be part of history.
“She is a fair person and we need something refreshing in the White House,” the Clinton Hill resident said. “I’m confident that when she’s in the White House that she will make the necessary policy changes for education as well as woman in the workplace. We need a woman in the White House.”
Applewhite was hoping Clinton would show at the headquarters on Sunday, wanting to say congratulations in person.
It wasn’t all supportive sentiment, though. Two flags hung from nearby traffic lights depicted Clinton’s face with the words “don’t say,” “secretive,” and “entitled.”
Many neighborhood locals who walked by on the sunny afternoon were surprised to learn Clinton had chosen Brooklyn as her campaign home.
Rebecca Brown, 37, was walking down Cadman Plaza on Sunday morning when she noticed the many news trucks and gathering crowd. Brown, who is registered independent, had mixed emotions about Clinton’s campaign.
“I guess my whole problem with her is she’s just such a career politician, which is kind of terrifying,” said the Brooklyn Heights resident who works in finance. “I don’t think it’s a surprise that she’s running.
“It would be nice if there were more than two options,” she added. “I definitely lean toward the left so I would never vote for a Republican, period. She’s really more of a centrist.”
Brown said she wasn’t thrilled with the idea of the campaign’s headquarters being located in her neighborhood, but added she would rather it be Clinton than someone more right wing.
“It will be chaotic. Oh well,” she said. “I’m glad it’s her and not Jeb Bush or something.”
Brown said Clinton is “certainly not the worst, but not the best.”
Clinton is favored to be Democratic nominee in 2016, with recent polls showing her with huge advantages against party rivals, including Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders.
Carroll Gardens resident Emily Friedman, 32, who said she’s a strong Clinton supporter, was thrilled to learn her candidate would be setting up shop just blocks from her house.
“I think she’s picked sort of a strategic place,” said Friedman, who happens to work for the Clinton Global Initiative. “Brooklyn is an emerging young hot spot. Young Democrats live here and she will get a lot of support.”
A couple of anti-Clinton activists gathered from the Republican National Committee, sporting “stop Hillary” shirts, and hoping to reach potential voters outside the Cadman Plaza building.
“She’s launching this campaign in the shadow of secrecy,” said Ali Pardo, an RNC spokeswoman who traveled from Washington D.C. to campaign yesterday. “We just want to remind people the other side is here. She’s announcing today so we want to make sure we’re being heard today.”