Clinton’s announcement prompts public ambivalence

By Alan Rivera

After two years of subtle hints, Hillary Clinton officially announced on April 12 her second bid for the Democratic nomination for president of the United States. She joined the race for the White House alongside Republican senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

Her campaign, Hillary For America, was launched with a website (www.hillaryclinton.com) alongside a two-minute YouTube video featuring mothers, entrepreneurs, young couples, gay couples, elderly Americans and an optimistic college student who were all preparing to take important steps in their lives. In the last 95 seconds, Clinton announced and explained that she’s preparing to run for president in order to be a champion for the average American, creating an all-inclusive America and tackling income inequality and the remains of an economic downturn.

Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign differs from her 2008 campaign because it strives to focus on voters rather than her accomplishments. She will attempt to replicate the successful listening tour she embarked on during her run for senator of New York in 2000, visiting small towns, diners and private homes.

Nonetheless, opponents were anything but hesitant to voice their opposition against Clinton’s announcement. Jeb Bush, former governor of Florida, uploaded a video where he voiced his objection towards a transplant of alleged failed Obama policies into a Clinton administration. Senators Paul, Cruz and Rubio took to Twitter to present Clinton as an incompetent candidate.

Clinton’s opponents argued against her candidacy, even before she officially placed her bid for the White House.

One critique is based on Clinton’s failure as Secretary of State to respond to several requests for additional security at the American consulate in Benghazi, which preceded the 2012 attack. The attack left four Americans dead, including Chris Stevens, the U.S. ambas-sador to Libya. However, a congressional investigation concluded that there was no wrongdoing by the Obama administration when it came to the attack.

To supplement the first argument, Clinton’s opponents also cling to her recent email controversy to project her as an inferior candidate. As Secretary of State, Clinton used her personal email, which was connected to a private server in her home, to conduct official business on behalf of the State Department. In response, Clinton voluntarily presented the emails she deemed work-related to the State Department for review.

Instead of focusing on Benghazi and “Emailgate,” other candidates (both Democratic and Republican) should concretely focus on attacking Clinton’s policy proposals rather than extracting controversy from an incident that has no resolve and a constructed scandal. They should pre-sent voters with what they can offer rather than what Clinton cannot.

On the other hand, voters should be asking themselves tough questions about their candidates. What can Clinton offer Americans that will continue to build on our economic recovery and progression towards equality? Will a Republican leader take us down a road of economic and social regression?

The Republican nomination will surely go to a candidate who opposes every goal and accomplishment of the Obama administration, which will put the Affordable Health Care Act, immigration reform, LGBTQ rights and women’s rights at risk. This coming election, the livelihood of many Americans stands in jeopardy.

Clinton has proven herself to be a formidable candidate among her opponents because of her extensive experience in leadership roles and public service: as a student leader at Wellesley College and Yale Law School, the first lady of Arkansas and the U.S., a senator from New York and, most recently, the Secretary of State.

If extensive experience in leadership and public service does not qualify you to be a competent presidential candidate, what does?

Hillary Clinton

Sungah Choi / The Poly Post

Hillary Clinton

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