Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waives to a...

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waives to a pedestrian after announcing the "Talk to Your Baby" public awareness initiative at SCO FirstStepNYC Early Education Center in Brooklyn, Wednesday, April 01, 2015. Credit: Charles Eckert

Hillary Rodham Clinton wouldn't say yes or no Wednesday when asked whether she'll locate a presidential campaign headquarters in Brooklyn.

Clinton was responding to a shouted question at an event in the borough's Brownsville neighborhood at which questions weren't supposed to be asked. But a TV reporter asked anyway.

"All in good time," the all-but-declared Democratic presidential contender said. "All in good time. "

The early-childhood event, in her role with the Clinton Foundation, aimed to urge parents to read, sing and talk to their children.

Sitting beside the city's first lady, Chirlane McCray, Clinton noted that successful brain development depends on hearing lots of words early on.

McCray's husband, Mayor Bill de Blasio, has a long history with the Clintons: He managed Hillary's successful campaign for Senate in 2000 and worked in the Clinton administration as a regional housing official. Bill Clinton administered the oath of office to de Blasio at his inauguration last year at City Hall.

De Blasio was not at yesterday's event, a discussion with parents, but sent a top aide, Deputy Mayor Richard Buery, who oversaw de Blasio's universal prekindergarten rollout.

"I am a little bit star-struck today -- I'm trying to be all cool as I sit here next to Hillary Clinton," he said.

Clinton recycled a self-deprecating anecdote. She would sing "Moon River" to Chelsea Clinton "all those years ago," the former secretary of state recalled, "until my daughter learned to talk. And the first words out of her mouth -- just about -- were to put her little finger on my mouth and say, 'No sing, mommy; no sing.' "

As part of the city's "Talk to Your Baby, Their Brain Depends on It" and the Clinton Foundation's "Too Small to Fail" campaigns, the health department will send new parents weekly text messages with coaching tips. Parents also will receive 200,000 book bundles worth $1.5 million.

The event, a parent panel, was scripted quite literally: Instructions in front of Buery, the moderator, detailed which parent should be called on first -- and when to wrap things up.

"ASK LAST QUESTION and STATE that it is LAST QUESTION," the sheet said. At the conclusion of the afternoon, Buery was told, "ask if CMC or HRC" -- initials for the city's first lady and Clinton -- "have anything they want to share to close."

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