Sunday, April 12, 2015

Hillary Clinton finally announces presidential campaign

After literally years of hinting at her bid for 2016, Hillary Clinton has marked the official start of her campaign with a video trailer, uploaded onto YouTube and other varying forms of social media.

One thing that pops to everyone's minds when the word "Hillary" comes up is: experience. When it comes to strategy, it seems like Clinton has learned from her previous mistakes. For comparison, here's the campaign trailer from her 2008 bid:

Even aside from the awkward and dizzying camerawork, this video is nowhere near as engaging as the one from today. This time, Hillary doesn't even start speaking until past the 90 second mark, and the first half the video is entirely dedicated to a group of ordinary (and markedly diverse) American citizens talking about their futures. When she does show up, she's sitting at a diner, listening to people speak. "The deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion." Relatability to the max, or so her video wants us to believe.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to her long history in the public eye. As Todd VanDerWerff from Vox says, Hillary Clinton "doesn't need to introduce herself to the public," so she can focus her launch on establishing "tone." However, many Democrats have been turned off by her supposed "unquestionable candidacy."

What do you think about Clinton's campaign strategy so far? Will she be able to maintain all her support, what with the GOP pinpointing her as an early target?


Katie Wysong 6 said...

I find it a little upsetting that it is so assumed that she will win the nomination. It is undemocratic to have a candidate basically decided before the primaries even begin. It is especially upsetting as many pundits consider Jeb Bush a forerunner on the Republican side. He has not yet announce his candidacy though. It is a little disappointing that the eligible candidate pool has a hard time expanding beyond a few families.

Valerie Chen said...

@Katie: I agree that this entire election would probably benefit if the party nominations weren't forgone conclusions, though "undemocratic" might not be the proper word to use here. Tough primary battles usually help align the final candidate more towards general party policy, case in point, Romney's 2012 run. I'm not all that familiar with Jeb Bush, but if the entire Democratic party jumps on the Hillary bandwagon without considering other possible nominees, they'd be blindly committing to her positions; for one, her much more aggressive foreign policy stance (compared with general liberal sentiment). Then again, the apparent certainty of her nomination and the easy primary that would result could arguably benefit her (or a Republican candidate in the same situation) in the general elections, as a competitive primary round will usually hurt rather than help a candidate's general ratings.

CleoWienbar7 said...

I think both parties are scared of the total circus that arises when there is a totally open primary. Not only does it make the party look divided and incompetent, it tends to pull candidates to the ends of the political spectrum. Candidates then have to seriously backtrack when they reach the general election.
Personally, I would just like to see more political parties. While this is hardly a realistic dream, I feel that it would prevent all this primary madness and let candidates be more open about their true political views, since they don't have to pander to the fringes to win the primary.