It seems like just yesterday that we were waiting on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she is, in fact, running for president.

Now we’re drowning in editorials, investigations and press conferences focused on her use of a private email account while at the State Department and the role foreign governments have played in providing funds to the Clinton Foundation. 

Clinton needs to cover her left flank with rousing speeches in favor raising the minimum wage and equal pay, gay marriage, net neutrality and the like. But a left-leaning agenda won’t get Clinton the presidency – it’s only part of the battle.

While these are important issues and Mrs. Clinton will have to address them on a continuing basis, they signify a distraction from the real task at hand: building and promoting an agenda that will take her to the White House.

Clinton needs to cover her left flank with rousing speeches in favor raising the minimum wage and equal pay, gay marriage, net neutrality and the like. But a left-leaning agenda won’t get Clinton the presidency – it’s only part of the battle.

In recent months, there has been a lot of chatter about a potential run by Massachusetts Democrat Senator Elizabeth Warren and what that would mean for Clinton’s candidacy. Polling in the crucial primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire by my own firm showed a much closer race between the two women than the national polls reflect. And a secret Democratic meeting in December concluded that the party is ripe for the plucking by a candidate from the progressive left side of the party.

While Senator Warren has been clear that she is not planning on running in 2016, that certainly doesn’t mean that what she represents – a crusader for equality and the middle class above all else – doesn’t resonate with the public. It does.

It follows that Clinton needs to cover her left flank with rousing speeches in favor raising the minimum wage and equal pay, gay marriage, net neutrality and the like. But a left-leaning agenda won’t get Clinton the presidency – it’s only part of the battle.

The greater problem for Clinton is crafting, and articulating, a platform that is balanced enough to take her through the primaries that will demand a progressive agenda and the general election where she needs to showcase her centrism.

It’s a difficult task, but not impossible.

A successful Hillary Clinton platform must be founded upon an inclusive pro-growth agenda that anticipates Republican arguments that will create new jobs, provide competitive wages through expanded training opportunities for young people and workers that need retaining. Her agenda must also include big bank regulation – a Democrat platform without this will be a nonstarter.

On income inequality, Clinton should articulate that the solution to this challenge – one that both sides will be looking to own – is not only through redistributive policies. This will steal the GOP’s thunder if they ever come up with a plan to combat income inequality, distance herself from Obama’s policies that haven’t been working for Americans and show concern for a central progressive issue.

Clinton’s platform should also emphasize support for an updated Simpson-Bowles plan. This bipartisan supported plan would cut wasteful spending, reform the tax code and makes necessary entitlement reforms that ensures that they will be protected for generations to come. Americans want compromise in Washington. They want to reduce our debt and deficit and balance the budget. And there’s no way to accomplish this without making some tough spending choices, a reality President Obama has been unwilling to contend with over the past six years.  

Indeed, an overarching centrist message that distinguishes herself from Obama without mentioning his name or policies will be the key to her success.

A balanced approach to immigration reform, especially in light of the current threat posed by ISIS, Al Qaeda and violent Islamic extremism the world over, will be welcome. Clinton should support a two-parted approach to reform, first promising to secure the border and then to create a pathway to citizenship.

Clinton’s advocacy for muscular militarism, an idea she has articulated before, offers the opportunity to further distinguish herself from Obama without mentioning his name or policies. She has a distinct view of America from the president and one that is more in line with an American public that is clamoring for tough leadership on the international stage, an explication of what role America plays in the world and a vision for how our military can and should be used to advance our values of freedom, fairness and equality.

This is just a start, but a valuable one. This platform would inoculate Clinton from leftist charges in the general election, and allows to her to define change her own way in her own policies.

Armed with policies like the above, Clinton can be both a strong primary and general election candidate – a tricky, but surmountable line that she must toe.