According to sources within her organization, Hillary Clinton will announce her candidacy for president on Sunday, through social media outlets and video. This will be her second run for the office, after losing the nomination to Barack Obama in 2008. She is the favorite for the Democratic Party’s nomination and would be a serious contender against a large field of Republican hopefuls.
Clinton has been a visible figure in American politics since her husband, Bill Clinton, served two terms as president in 1992 and 1996. During her stint as first lady, Clinton spear-headed a failed attempt at developing national healthcare, and championed women’s rights around the world.
After her husband left the office, the family relocated from their native Arkansas to New York, where Clinton successfully campaigned for and won a Senate seat. She served almost two terms as a Senator before initiating the ill-fated 2008 campaign for her party’s nomination. She was tapped to serve as Secretary of State by Obama, and served in this position through his first term.
With all of this notoriety and varied experience comes several challenges. Many democratic insiders feel that she represents the status-quo. If she were to assume the office at the age of 68, she would be the next oldest president with Ronald Reagan being 69 when elected. There is also concern that, much like the last campaign where she was the presumptive nominee, the public could develop “Clinton fatigue.” In a recent poll, only two percent of Americans say they have never heard of her.
The Clinton political machine is legendary in its adept way of managing the narrative, and they are tooling up for the run. She has made several highly-visible policy speeches recently, outlining her passions for gender equality, economic growth and foreign policy. Her own gender is seen as a strength in a field of male candidates. A new grandmother, she represents a vested interest in preserving the quality of the American ideal for future generations. Her experience as a seasoned, well-traveled diplomat serves to represent her comfort and familiarity with world issues.
This apparent strength in foreign relations is considered by some critics to be a weakness. Issues like the failed Russian reset that now sees an aggressive Russia flexing its muscles in Europe, and the Benghazi incident that saw jihadists taking over an American embassy and killing the ambassador will certainly be attacked by her opponents. Her latest faux pas involving the deletion of tens of thousands of emails required for archiving, will serve as campaign fodder for any Republican challenger. Clinton was required by law to save copies of all official correspondence. The philanthropic Clinton family organization has also come under fire for accepting donations from countries that have dubious human rights records, even while she was serving at state.
However, there is no denying that she has formidable star power and respect within her party. There are no significant challengers who have officially announced their candidacy leading up to this Sunday’s announcements. Therefore, all eyes and ears will be tuned in on Sunday as Hillary Clinton announces her candidacy for President of the United States.
By Chris Marion
Photo by East-West Center – Flickr License