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Washington (AFP) - Democrat Hillary Clinton launched herself into the thick of the US midterm election campaign Friday, announcing her support for multiple congressional candidates in President Barack Obama's party.
"The midterms really matter," the former secretary of state and prospective 2016 presidential candidate told some 400 women gathered at a leadership forum in Washington.
"Now I know that they may not be as glamorous as presidential elections," she said, but they "really are crucial for our country's future."
All 435 seats in the House of Representatives are up for grabs on November 4, along with about one third of the Senate's 100 seats.
"In just 46 days, American voters have a choice, and a chance," she said, running through the list of key Democratic themes this year including equal pay, education and access to health care, while citing capable women candidates in states like Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and Wisconsin.
Clinton, who spent eight years in the US Senate, said November was "a chance to elect leaders who know women should be able to make our own health care decisions."
Clinton focused her speech on women and the positive influence they have had on the democratic process as their stature in US politics has grown.
Clinton noted that more than 100 women Democrats were running for US House seats this year. Currently a record 82 women serve in the House (63 Democrats and 19 Republicans), forming about 19 percent of the chamber.
Republicans control the House and are aiming to win back the Senate, currently in the hands of Obama's Democrats.
Despite the never-ending speculation about Clinton's political future, she made no mention of it at Friday's event. The former first lady to president Bill Clinton has said that any announcement about a possible White House run would be made in early 2015.
Her involvement in the midterm campaigns is no surprise, although it feeds rumors about a potential presidential run.
Should she hit the campaign trail with candidates it will allow her to criss-cross the country and engage with Americans, much like she did for several months this year while promoting her memoir, "Hard Choices."
Last week she attended events in the strategic heartland state of Iowa, traditionally the first to vote in the US presidential primary process.