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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2739

US Presidential Race 2016: Hilary wants to be a champion of everyday Americans

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

With the announcement of her intention to run for the presidency in 2016, Hilary Clinton, the former First Lady, seems to be determined to see her ultimate ambition through, in order to reach the pinnacle of her political career – the formidable shepherdess to lead the flock of the Free World.

Since her little-known, would-be opponents have clearly been dwarfed by her position – as the former First Lady, a Senator and the Secretary of State – the race for the Democratic Party nomination does not appear to be a challenge for Mrs Clinton. If Jeb Bush, the son of former president George Bush Snr – and brother of George Bush Jnr – the former governor of Florida, succeeds in securing the Republican nomination, both camps will inadvertently turn the presidential election in 2016 into a clash between two political dynasties in America.

Although, the association with dynastic politics places the candidates at a certain advantage, the failure to strike a balance may raise the stakes for both candidates. In this respect, Jeb Bush is much more vulnerable than Mrs Clinton, as the legacy of his elder brother - in dragging America into two major unwinnable conflicts that cost lives, money and above all America’s military strategy - is still raw in collective American psyche.

Mrs Clinton entered the fray at a time when she has been put under less-than-flattering spotlight in the US media on many fronts; her portrayal as a determined semi-feminist hardly helps diffuse the situation.

Despite the obvious danger, she seems to be determined to tread on the very path - less travelled by every, single, former presidential hopeful - while knowing very well that the knives are out for her, in reiterating her political goal – to be the first female US President – as something for every woman in America – and, of course, beyond its borders. Adding fuel to fire, she described her final attempt to become the president as an attempt to break what she called ‘the highest, hardest ceiling’.

Mrs Clinton’s critics seized on the move in order to disproportionately highlight yet another aspect of her personality – stubbornness. Since the public scrutiny of presidential candidates has barely begun, Mrs Clinton cannot afford to make the kind of damaging gaffes that she used make, while being a Senator - classifying the family being broke, when they actually had $55 million in assets. She is not short of hurdles to be overcome in her quest to reach the presidency.

Besides, in retrospect, she may have realized that she should have handled the email controversy – performing government tasks on a private email server in order to make a distinction between private and public emails - while serving as the Secretary of State in Obama administration differently. In addition, she may have wished that the family exercised some form of restrain before opening the flood gates for private donations for Clinton Foundation.

In short, these issues, even if they appear to be somewhat trivial, can snowball into bitter, decisive campaign issues in the run up to the election with menacing ramifications, especially as she has no formidable power base of her own in the Democratic camp.

In the absence of oratory skills that President Obama used to display, while defying odds in 2008 and the personal magnetism cloaked in charm that her husband possessed, Mrs Clinton has to rely on a catalogue of secondary factors to achieve her goal – to be a champion of everyday Americans.

Fortunately, changing demographics in American vote base are clearly in favour of Hilary Clinton. Since President Clinton is still hugely popular among the minorities and Democrats, it goes without saying that the positive influence of the husband will earn her a substantial amount of votes during the crucial stages of the notoriously-protracted presidential race.

In this context, the last thing Mrs Clinton wants is yet another memoir from a former member of her entourage while being the First Lady in 1990s. Because, the account of a secret service officer that came in the form of a book last year, depicted the enviable environment that he endured during his tenure - while protecting Hilary!

- Asian Tribune -

US Presidential Race 2016: Hilary wants to be a champion of everyday Americans
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