The preliminary election season has so far been defined by outsider politicians. These candidates all promise to reign in the crippling inefficacy of the federal government resulting from the last eight years.
Former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has been plagued by mistakes made during the Obama administration and discredited by many for being too disconnected from progressives. I am not advocating that Clinton is a perfect candidate for the democratic nomination, but she is the best option available this election season.
There are two serious issues, however, with her campaign that may prevent her from being elected: Clinton’s email scandal is admittedly a hurdle in her second attempt for a presidency. There is no acceptable reason for her to have used private email servers to communicate potentially classified information. However, it has gotten to the point where these emails are defining the democratic primaries and providing fodder for the GOP in the upcoming election. If the Republican-led Benghazi committee found any actual wrong doings, appropriate action would, and should, be taken. But as it stands, it has been merely a partisan attack on Clinton with little interest in finding the truth of what happened in 2012.
Additionally, Clinton is devaluing the idea of a woman presidency by attempting to make her gender a reason to vote for her. While a woman serving as president is long past-due, she is ignoring other aspects of her campaign in doing so. She is campaigning as the best woman candidate rather than the best candidate all together, and it is inappropriate to scavenge for votes solely because she is a woman, rather than votes based on principle. It is unfortunate that when asked how her campaign would differ from that of President Obama at the first CNN Democratic Debate, her immediate response was that she would be a woman in the White House. Instead of highlighting policy differences throughout the debate, Clinton wasted several opportunities by explaining to viewers that she is a female.
Some opponents have called Clinton weak and unaggressive regarding Wall Street, but she is being realistic. Reality tends to rear its ugly head, and it is more important to have some legislation in effect than none at all. What Clinton proposes instead, is to empower regulators overseeing shadow-banking institutions coupled with strengthening transparency and disclosure requirements. These moderately-aggressive policies would curb risky financial firms to prevent another economic disaster similar to 2008.
During her position as Secretary of State, Clinton has demonstrated what effective foreign policy is. She was able to successfully get China to sign its first ever climate control treaty. Serving as Secretary of State has much more weight than what any senator has voted on in the past 30 years. Bush’s irresponsible foreign policy left President Obama in a difficult position internationally, and former Secretary Clinton is most likely to continue his legacy.
It is important to note how Clinton’s presidency would be different from Obama’s last term. The GOP-led Senate and House have been unwilling to fully cooperate with some of the progressive legislation put forth by the Democratic party. Unless Democrats hope to regain the majority on both floors, compromise will need to be made for any progress to occur in the federal government. Both parties should expect a productive administration, and Clinton is the only candidate that will make that happen.
Political insiders this season have been portrayed as cronies, and any positive legacies left behind have been ignored. Clinton has the commitment and experience of a lifetime, and a political background unseen anywhere else in this election season. Knowledge of foreign policy, cautious but responsible financial ideas, and modern social values leave no uncertainty about her qualifications to be president. Clinton deserves consideration in the democratic primaries and, hopefully, in the election season in 2016.