Candidate Profile: Hillary Clinton

Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton

On the Surface

After much speculation, Hillary Clinton has officially announced her presidential candidacy. With an impressive résumé (including tenure as First Lady and Secretary of State), significant name recognition, and a platform targeting the middle class, Clinton’s odds of becoming the first woman to secure a major party’s nomination are strong.

Background

Born in Illinois in 1947, Hillary Rodham Clinton attended Wellesley College and later received a law degree from Yale. She married Bill Clinton in 1975, and was a key player in his administration as well as First Lady. After she left the White House, she was elected to the Senate from New York, losing the Democratic presidential nomination to Barack Obama following her second term. She served as Obama’s secretary of state (famously taking the blame for a 2012 attack on the US diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya) during his first term. Since being replaced by John Kerry, Clinton has remained active at her Foundation.

Platform

In a tweet sent out by her campaign, Clinton said that “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion.” While she has yet to release an official platform, her long career in office, as well as statements made in Iowa, no doubt provides some insight.

Clinton has been consistent in using populist rhetoric, making statements about decreasing the wage gap, increasing access to birth control, and economic equality for women. Additionally, Clinton believes in a regulated economy, stating in her book that, “the unfettered free market has been the most radically disruptive force in American life in the last generation.” Clinton continues to be a proponent of No Child Left Behind. She has a favorable position toward the LGBT community and gay marriage. Finally, in terms of foreign policy, she is an ardent supporter of Israel and illegal immigrants.

Challenges

While Clinton still lacks a clear opponent from the Democratic party, Republican challengers are gaining steam, with the likes of Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul declaring their intent to run. However, the Republicans are the least of her worries.

Recently, a scandal concerning Clinton’s use of a personal email account for government emails has surfaced, with her ratings dropping as a result. In addition, Clinton’s longstanding status as a Democratic institution might be held against her, with polls showing that voters feel alienated by her reputation as more a politician than a person; her “Road to Success” is an attempt to rectify that.

To conclude, while Clinton is the clear frontrunner for the Democratic nomination, it remains to be seen if she can overcome her Republican challengers in the general election.

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