On Sunday, Hillary Clinton made the Republican Party’s worst fear a reality when she announced she would be running for president again. It’s no secret that the GOP hates Clinton, judging from how much time and energy they’ve spent over last three years smearing her and taking lowbrow shots at her credibility, to the extent that she was the target of their first 2016 presidential attack ad all the way back in 2013! It’s not just because her last name is Clinton or the fact that she’s a woman; she also represents a brand of qualified sophistication, professional savvy and hard-earned respect that no Republican candidate comes close to.
First of all, Hillary Clinton has a wide range of powerful people backing her second bid for the White House. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, is universally liked within the Democratic Party and among many of the Independents that candidates try so hard to appeal to. Remember what a boost Clinton’s support was for Obama? His relentless energy, personal charisma and extensive campaign experience are a huge asset.
On that note, if there is anyone Democrats love more than Bill Clinton, it is President Obama. Many voters in our party will look to him and vote for whomever he endorses. On Saturday the president told reporters that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be an “excellent” president:
“I think she would be an excellent president….She’s going to be able to handle herself really well in any conversations that take place around foreign policy. Her track record with respect to domestic policy is, I think, one that cares about working families.” [Source]
While he has not yet made an official endorsement, with the election cycle still so young, he clearly respects her a great deal, having made her an integral part of his administration after defeating her in the 2008 primary. He knows she will be the defender of his legacy and the person to keep his accomplishments alive, and will give her all the support she needs.
In addition to the support of two former Presidents, she is expected to have huge financial support, not only from big donors but from grass-roots level activism as well, and when the going gets tough in the general election it is vital to be well-financed. She still has the infrastructure she built during 2008 to build off of, and this large base of support is something radical miscreants like Ted Cruz and Rand Paul will be unable to match. Remember how Obama wiped the floor with Republicans because his campaign was so well-funded? Hillary is going to be just as or even more well-funded than Obama.
The voting electorate for presidential elections is younger and more diverse, and Hillary Clinton’s progressive social platform puts her at a clear advantage with this decisive voting block over her closed minded and repressive Republican rivals, who are tripping over themselves to defend the bigoted laws such as Indiana’s “religious freedom exemption” law. Her lifelong battles for children’s and women’s rights and more recent championing of LGBT issues appeal heavily to the younger generation, who are on the whole considerably more liberal than their parents.
Her foreign policy experience sets her apart from all other contenders, especially the cultivated ignorance of the Republican hopefuls. They seized on the Benghazi attacks like a dog to a bone and refuse to let go, but at this point they’ve been investigating it for nearly three years and have not yet produced a single shred of evidence that proves she did anything wrong. As a senator and then Secretary of State, she has developed personal relationships with leaders around the world, while the GOP hopefuls spout war-mongering drivel with no consideration for how the other countries in the region would be affected; a fact which is definitely not lost on their foreign counterparts.
Finally, she is a successful woman and that is something the GOP cannot tolerate, for it represents an existential threat to their entire delusional worldview. Disgraced HP CEO Carly Fiorina has already taken shots at her credibility, but Hillary’s record defends itself with over fifty years of political experience. This country has waited a long time for a formidable female candidate to come along and we finally have one. Republicans have tried to give us Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin, but their public statements veer so far off the cliff of sanity and reason they never gave us any reason to take them seriously. Hillary means business, and comports herself like a professional.
In spite of all of the attempts to smear her, she is standing strong. She has a huge base, powerful supporters, intelligence and the experience we are looking for in the next president. The Republican party can waste all their resources and energy in a bloody, protracted primary battle that still won’t produce anything close to a serious candidate.
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.