MASON CITY, Iowa — Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Tuesday night that Hillary Clinton has a lifetime of leadership and is ready to be president.

Speaking to a crowd of about 100 at the Cerro Gordo County Democratic headquarters, Albright said, “No one who has ever run for president has been more prepared than Hillary Clinton.”

But she warned her audience not to be confident of victory on Nov. 8.

“People ask me if I’m an optimist or a pessimist. I tell them I’m an optimist who worries a lot,” she said.

Albright said she has known Clinton since Clinton was head of the Children’s Defense Fund 30 years ago.

“She wanted to speak and help people who couldn’t speak for themselves and she still does,” said Albright.

She said when Clinton was first lady and Albright was secretary of state, the two of them went to the Beijing Women’s Conference.

“She was a guest but she was the superstar,” said Albright. “She electrified everyone with her speech on how women’s rights are human rights and human rights are women’s rights.”

She said she is indebted to Clinton for endorsing her to be secretary of state when Warren Christopher stepped down. She said a lot of names were being floated around as his successor and her name became part of what she called the “great mentioning” that happens so often in Washington.

Albright said Clinton’s view was “Why not Madeleine?” 

Albright, who was born in Czechoslovakia, said her proudest moment was when she became an American citizen while in college.

She blasted Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump, for saying the upcoming election is rigged.

The American election system is the cornerstone of democracy, Albright said. Trump’s contentions are foolish and are based on his thought that he is going to lose.

But she spent most of her time praising Clinton and urging Democrats not to let Trump become president.

“It is up to you now.” she said. “Vote and get your friends and neighbors out. It’s terribly important.”