In 2008, Hilary Clinton made history as the first ever wife of an American president to seek the highest elective office in the US. She is going to contest again in 2016 for the post of President of United State, a position presently held by Barack Obama, a Black American.
The former US Secretary of State declared in a video posted on her website recently, that she will be running for president next Year. Clinton made the announcement last Sunday in a video publicished on her website, saying “the deck is still stacked in favour of those at the top” as she sought to highlight the theme of economic inequality. I’m running for president. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion. Hillary Tweeted.
However, there are lessons to learn in her message for people to ‘get ahead and stay ahead rather than just get by”. More so, in the experiences of Nigeria female candidates like Presidential candidate of Kowa Party, Professor Remi Sonaiya, Special Adviser to President Jonathan on Ethics And Values, Madam Sarah Jibril who got only one vote in that race, the Labour Party (LP) governorship candidate in Akwa Ibom State, Senator Helen Esuene, who lost the 2015 election, Mrs. Nenadi Usman, who did not make a comeback to the National Assembly and many others. This is not to say Mrs. Clinton is a better female politician than our amiable, intelligent female goal getters in the political arena in Nigeria as our women who have been there have shown over the years, despite the challenges they have faced ranging from lack of funds, sponsorship/ backing, cultural, religious inhibitions etc, of which Clinton has upper hand than our women. Already she has hit the road as she starts her campaign, with the first visit to Iowa where she held discussions with Iowans in a coffee shop. Iowa is the first US state to vote when the primary elections to choose each party’s candidate begin early next year.
With Mrs. Clinton’s declaration she seeks for the second time, to become the first female to occupy the seat that her husband, Bill Clinton held for eight years, and setting up what could be the most expensive campaign in history.
Reports also say Clinton’s nascent campaign has carefully coordinated her image as a spontaneous, handshaking populist in her first days as a candidate, posing with Pennsylvanians at a gas station and venturing into an Ohio Chipotle restaurant for lunch.
There is no doubt that US President, Barack Obama who defeated her in the 2008 Democratic nomination, has given her the nod too with his conviction that she, (Hilary) “would be an excellent president”.
“She was an outstanding secretary of state. She is my friend. I think she would be an excellent president,” Obama said in Panama, where he attended the Summit of the Americas and held a historic meeting with the Cuban leader Raul Castro recently.
In the biography section of her website, Clinton, a Democrat, talked about her bipartisan record as senator, crossing party lines to work with Republicans, who now control the US Congress.
But during her husband’s presidency from 1993 to 2001, both Clintons repeatedly clashed with the Republicans, who tried to remove the 42nd president from office. She became a lightning-rod for Republican criticism, from her handling of the Clinton administration’s failed healthcare reform to the investigations into their private lives.
Although a native of Chicago, Clinton has set up her campaign headquarters in New York, where she served as senator after her husband left office.
Clinton is expected to make her first campaign stop in the US state of Iowa, which will hold the first nominating process in early 2016.
Clinton is not the only high-profile US politician in the running for president. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, son of the 41st US President George HW Bush and brother of another former president, George W Bush is also expected to declare his candidacy for the Republican Party.
Like all female politicians across the globe, Hilary Clinton has begun to feel the anger of male counterparts as shortly after she announced her bid on Sunday night, Jeb Bush responded on Twitter, saying: “We must do better than Hillary.”
We must do better than Hillary. If you’re committed to stopping her, add your name now.— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) twitted on April 12, 2015
Political watchers in the US think this has set up a potential Clinton-Bush matchup and a repeat of what transpired in 1992 elections, when the elderly President Bush lost to Bill Clinton, then a governor of the small southern US state of Arkansas.
According to a New York Times report, Clinton and her allies are trying to raise as much as $2.5bn to finance her campaign. The eventual Republican candidate is also expected to match that amount.
In anticipation of her announcement, the Republican Party posted on its website a 31-second video questioning Clinton’s candidacy, from her role in the deadly US consulate attack in Benghazi to her decision to delete a large cache of emails from her time as the US top diplomat.
While Clinton tries to steer her campaign mostly on domestic issues, it is likely that her foreign policy record as the secretary of state during Obama’s first four years, would be put under scrutiny.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ibrahim Sharqieh, foreign policy fellow at Brookings Doha Center, said that as secretary of state, Clinton “lacked serious commitment” in resolving many of the issues affecting the Middle East, particularly the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
Given her record, Sharqieh said that he is “not very optimistic that she is going to make a difference on US foreign policy towards the Middle East”.