Now that Hillary Clinton has stated that she will definitely be running for president in 2016 — a fact that was mostly already accepted, just not completely official — it’s time for the analysis to begin. Clinton is a powerful Democratic candidate who is already far ahead of other possible Democratic opponents, and she will be up against a few big Republican names, as well.
In Hillary’s announcement video Sunday, she focused on a diverse cast of middle-class Americans, no doubt setting the tone for her campaign. This includes an engaged gay couple, which establishes at least one of her positions on a currently contentious issue.
It’s early yet to be guessing how Clinton will fare against her opponents once the ads and debates start, but it’s worth noting that Clinton is not new to this game. In 2008, she presented a challenge to then-candidate Barack Obama, consistently going on the offensive. Some of this could possibly be attributed to Obama’s difficulty finding his footing in earlier debates, but Clinton will undoubtedly come to her debates prepared to engage.
Though it benefits any candidate to be strong in any debate, it will be particularly necessary for Hillary — in recent months, she has been the target of multiple scandals. Whether the controversies hold any water is arguable, and both scandals don’t appear to have hurt her ratings too much so far, but they have no doubt become a part of Clinton’s history that she will need to defend. She will no doubt face questions about how she handled the attacks on an American compound in Benghazi, Libya, as well as concerns about her trustworthiness over her recent email controversy.
While Clinton is running on the Democratic ticket and currently enjoys heavy support, she may run into trouble with some of the voting base she wants to capture, including many progressives. Her foreign policy has been described as neoconservative, even by neoconservatives, and many liberals worry that her conservative ideas will spill over into areas like security, war, and surveillance. Clinton voted for the Patriot Act and supported the Iraq war, and many fear that she is uncomfortably cozy with big banks.
She may also face a lack of enthusiasm from her voting base due to her current popularity. Some, like Erica Sagrans, who has been running a campaign to encourage Elizabeth Warren to run for president, say that this will lead many voters to believe that voting for Hillary is an inevitability, not just another option.
“She shouldn’t be the inevitable candidate. Our take is that no one should feel like they can’t support a candidate that they like or are excited about just because there is a lot of support for Hillary.”
So far, Clinton enjoys a lead over potential Republican candidates as well, though not by nearly as large a margin. The possible silver lining for Hillary’s campaign in 2016 is that while she currently enjoys a major lead over possible Democratic candidates, support for Republican candidates is far more spread out. Though it may be unfortunate for Democratic voters hoping for variety in their candidates, it could end up working in her favor.
Hillary Clinton has a chance of running an excellent campaign in 2016, though she faces difficulties from some of her policies as well as her often-rocky relationship with the media. It’s too early to tell how she will fare later, but she has the benefit of a strong start and plenty of support.
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