Hillary Clinton: Pros and Cons of Popularity during the American elections

Long standing fame is a double-edged sword: will it prove to be beneficial or harmful to Clinton’s campaign?

1400271888424.cached“Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion” are the words Hillary Rodham Clinton chose to announce her run for the US Presidential Elections of 2016. Raised in a republican household and head of the Young Republicans when she was young, only at college her ideas started to take a more liberal shift and by 1968 she was supporting democratic campaigns and organizing anti-Vietnam war teach-ins.

On her resumes she can claim having been a precious support to her husband’s administration; the only first lady ever elected to the US Senate and a globe-trotting diplomat who surprised her party by serving dutifully under the President who defeated her. Hers could also be one of the least contested primary races, because of the incredibly strong support she already has.

Mrs. Clinton entered the race with an already strong base of support: 81% of Democrats said they would consider voting for her, according to a CBS News poll. Her Ready for Hillary campaign has already got $15million and is estimated to raise and spend $1.5-to-$2 billion. That could surely inhibit potential rivals, including former Gov. O’Malley of Maryland, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia and Senator Bernard Sanders, an independent from Vermont who could run as a Democrat.

Any of these opponents is also expected to prioritize economic issues, and to be more leftist than the current Secretary of State. So far she’s had other plans, such as promoting an immigration reform that “keeps families together, treats everyone with dignity and compassion, upholds the rule of law, protects our borders and national security, and brings millions of hard-working people out of the shadows and into the formal economy so they can pay taxes and contribute to our nation’s prosperity.”

As for foreign policy, given the ongoing crises in the Middle East, those may become surprisingly important for this campaign. And Clinton would have no problem with that: she was among the early advocates of the military intervention in Libya against Qaddafi, and of a plan to more aggressively arm Syrian rebel groups. “I think the real challenge she’ll have is trying to run away from foreign policy. She has, after all, been the Secretary of State for four years and the Clinton-Barack Obama foreign policy has really been a bust,” the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, told Fox News on Sunday.

That’s the drawback: having been in the political scenario all this time, her name brings back too many memories. She’ll have to surprise Americans who believe they know everything about her, and she will have to detach herself from the Obama administration she’s been so loyal to in the past few years. Even part of the Left is skeptic of her perceived closeness to Wall Street and her husband’s past deregulatory moves. NY Mayor De Blasio, who managed Clinton’s successful 2000 Senate campaign, declined a chance to endorse her. “Not until I see — and I would say this about any candidate — an actual vision of where they want to go.”

President Obama, on the other hand, offered his support from a press conference in Panama. “She was a formidable candidate in 2008,” he said. “She was a great supporter of mine in the general election. She was an outstanding secretary of state. She is my friend. I think she would be an excellent president” He added: “The one thing I can say is she’s going to be able to handle herself very well in a conversation or debates around foreign policy. And her track record with respect to domestic policy is I think one that cares about working families.”

Maria Felicita Ferraro

Pubblicato il 16 Aprile 2015

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