Egan: Should Hillary go solo?


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Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to the great state of Iowa this past weekend, for the first time since 2008, has reminded us all of her looming possible candidacy in the 2016 election.

With this election in mind, she and her staff are sure to realize that the female demographic would be the most efficient one to target in 2016 if Rodham Clinton does decide to run, as it sure seems she will. After all, women will likely respond to a strong figure such as her being the first-ever female candidate for president. But with consideration to this demographic, the one thing she might have to leave out of her campaign is her husband.

No doubt there are still an abundance of supporters of former President Bill Clinton. But we must consider what he looks like next to Rodham Clinton if she pursues the presidency.

After the Monica Lewinsky-related incidents of Clinton’s presidency, many female Americans (particularly those who consider themselves feminists) lost some respect for Rodham Clinton for staying with him despite his adultery. Some believed this showed weakness on her part and contradicted her publically feminist views.

Of course, the general public lacks a great amount of knowledge about the inner workings of their marriage and therefore lacks the right to judge her actions. Her decisions regarding her marriage and home life are her own and fail to influence her political decision making or standing. Her belief in women’s rights stands strong no matter what she decides to do in her own marriage.

Unfortunately, this snap judgment of her personality based on something so trivial is no new pattern. Rodham Clinton has experienced a long history of ridicule at the White House, both as first lady and as secretary of State. In fact, in a 1995 issue of Newsweek she said, “If I want to knock a story off the front page, I just change my hair style.” It is not uncommon for her personal choices to influence the public’s view of her greatly. This, no doubt, has something to do with her being a woman. Historically, women in positions of power have been ridiculed far more harshly than their male counterparts. You wouldn’t find a news story on Obama’s new haircut, but Rodham Clinton’s?


But that simple truth doesn’t change the fact that Clinton’s influence in her political career does turn some voters off. After all, he has served two terms as president. And for many Americans, anything he may have done as president, good or bad, has been forgotten amid a sea of Lewinsky drama.

Rodham Clinton, both alongside Bill and independently, stands strong as a politician and has the experience to prove it. Her international relations skills may, if she decides to run, put her leaps and bounds ahead of the competition. And she brings to the table something we have never seen before, a feminine perspective. But it may continue to be a challenge locking down votes. After all, she is a Clinton and when it comes to that family, the public is either busy loving them or busy hating them.

With sound aptitude, strong will, and superb international relations skills, she is a prime candidate for the 2016 presidency, but she might only come out on top if her husband can learn to stay underground.

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