Hillary Clinton surprised a few people around the country and turned a few heads when she talked about how John Kerry would make America safer.

In a nationally televised speech from the Democratic National Convention in Boston, the New York senator and former first lady said, “We need to secure our borders.”

In outlining a plan to avoid another attack like the one terrorists launched Sept. 11, 2001, Mrs. Clinton offered a largely defensive agenda.

“We need to fully equip and train our firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians — our first responders in the event of a terrorist attack,” she said. “We need to secure our borders and our ports, as well as our chemical and nuclear plants. We need to reorganize our federal government to meet the new threats of these times. We need to make sure that homeland security is properly funded and that resources go to the areas at greatest risk.”

Mrs. Clinton also echoed a familiar theme from her years as first lady and unofficial health-care czar.

“We need to rededicate ourselves to the task of providing coverage for the 44 million Americans who are uninsured and the millions of others who face rising costs,” she said. “We need to lift the ban on stem cell research, and find cures that will help millions of Americans. Health care is a serious issue that requires serious solutions and that’s what John Kerry will give us.”

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