It’s Official: Hillary Jumps In
With perhaps the least surprising announcement in American political history, Hillary Clinton has officially become the first Democrat to throw her name in the ring for 2016. And despite worries on the left that she’ll remain plagued by the problems of her 2008 run, she benefits from one particular advantage: no one seems ready to run against her. Unless there is a major shakeup in the next six months, the former First Lady appears to have a clean, clear path to the nomination.
“I’m running for president,” she announced Sunday through her Twitter account. “Every-day Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.”
The short message was accompanied by a video that seemed to intentionally draw attention away from its star. Clinton herself does not appear until nearly a minute in. The rest of the video is a montage of people that seem handpicked for their “diversity.” Women, Spanish-speaking minorities, and gays dominate the collage, making it clear that Clinton is eager to “stick up for the little guy.” Absent from the video is her husband, former President Bill Clinton. Whether or not that is significant remains to be seen.
Though Clinton will undoubtedly benefit from a friendly media – compared, at least, to what Republicans will face – several major news outlets shared a single theme: Why does she want to be president? If that question is posed to Hillary, she’ll need something more substantial than her dream of being a champion for everyday Americans. Voters across the spectrum have their suspicions. And though you don’t run for president without a truckload of personal ambition, Clinton will have to overcome the idea that she is power-hungry, seeking nothing more than to go down in history.
In Brooklyn, where Clinton’s campaign headquarters are located, the streets were decorated with posters mocking the Democratic candidate. Black portraits were found throughout the nearby neighborhoods, pictures of Clinton labeled with admonitions: Don’t Call Her Ambitious. Don’t Call Her Entitled. Don’t Call Her Secretive. The poster plays off a recent list of words Hillary supporters sent the media, warning that they were rife with sexism.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told the hosts of MSNBC’s Morning Joe that he wasn’t worried about Clinton. Monday morning, he said she was “about the best person we could possibly hope for.” Priebus went on to say that Clinton was going to have to overcome issues of trust if she was going to make a serious bid for the White House. “So, yeah, I think she’s got a terrible record, and one that’s pretty hard to actually find some accomplishments on.”
Clinton will also have to find a way through an intense battleground of questions, scandal, and failure. Benghazi, the matter of her private email account, and her lack of likability may conspire to make her an unelectable candidate. And then there is that pesky perception that she is out for one thing and one thing only, a perception she only strengthened a month ago when speaking to female Democratic voters.
“Don’t you someday want to see a woman president of the United States?” she asked with a teasing grin.
Sure, Hillary. Just not you.