Clinton’s early pres. announcement could be a liablility

Reggie Parson

Former first lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has entered the 2016 presidential election in the Democratic Party. For years, many have speculated Clinton would become a candidate for president in 2016. She came second in a highly contested 2008 democratic primary that saw Barack Obama win the nomination and eventually the presidency. Now that she has entered again, there will be a resurfacing of her personal and political past including things she may want to forget during her terms as first lady, such as the Whitewater investigation and the Monica Lewinsky scandal. Politically she will also have to defend her votes supporting in the Iraq War as U.S. senator and her most recent actions taken as secretary of state will come into play, particularly those involving Benghazi. She is the first Democrat to formally enter, which has many in her party concerned. During a presidential primary many of the competing candidates tear into each other’s records to find information that will force one another to defend decisions they’ve made in the past. Republican candidates; such as U.S. Senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, have all officially entered the race, which will set up an exciting primary season for the party. Other potential GOP candidates include Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is expected to make an announcement regarding his candidacy on May 4 according to CNN. With Clinton expected by most to take the democratic nomination, it leaves her in a vulnerable position if she makes it to a general election. Without a debate, there is nothing that will force her to take and defend her positions on immigration, foreign policy and the economy among other things. This could limit democratic voters’ variety in whom they would like to see as the party’s nominee. The Republican nominee by the general election is sharpened to a degree and prepared to take on any strategy Clinton takes against his or her record. Republicans would be playing offense and Democrats playing defense. According to CBS News, many of the party’s most populist and liberal circles would like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts to consider a presidential run. Many of Warren’s supporters are concerned that topics of income equality, expanding Social Security and Wall Street accountability will not be debated. Other Democratic candidates that are considering a run are sitting Vice President Joe Biden and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. It is still unknown if either will announce a run in the near future but it would make an interesting Democratic primary. In many of the polls, 60 percent of democrats support Clinton, which is an improvement from the 40 percent she garnered in 2008. But if another formidable candidate in the party poses a challenge, the question remains if Democrats will support change. Students should pay attention to presidential politics over the next few months because a presidential race will be long and it is important to know who the candidates are in each party so they can support the candidates that are closely aligned with their values. This election presents the opportunity for America to once again make history with either the first female president, Cuban-American president or president from Wisconsin. Student voters should do their research on presidential candidates because they need to be pressed and should expect a fierce competition for the nation’s highest office.