Today Hillary Clinton made it official: She’s running for president. Obviously, we all knew she would, and she outpolls all other possible Democratic OR Republican candidates, so her official announcement is important.
In her announcement video, above, Hillary says:
Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favour of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion—and I want to be that champion. So you can do more than just get buy, you can get ahead—and stay ahead. Because when families are strong, America is strong.This is very good messaging. It acknowledges that only the very rich are doing well, and everyone else is struggling, yet at the same time it offers hope to the majority of Americans that things can get better for them.
Yesterday, Robert Reich, who was Secretary of Labour under President Bill Clinton, published a piece in which he takes on one of the Left’s main criticisms of Hillary:
Some worry she's been too compromised by big money—that the circle of wealthy donors she and her husband have cultivated over the years has dulled her sensitivity to the struggling middle class and poor.Reich, who has been a critic—and explainer—of the USA’s current economic mess, knows what he’s talking about. He also knows the Clintons, so his opinion carries a bit more weight with me than those of pundits. On the other hand, most of the agenda he spells out, great though it is, can only happen if Democrats control Congress so that they can get things done. That’s a different matter altogether.
But it's wrong to assume great wealth, or even a social circle of the wealthy, is incompatible with a deep commitment to reform—as Teddy Roosevelt and his fifth-cousin Franklin clearly demonstrated.
But I bet that if Hillary starts energising everyday Americans, it can only help the chances that Democrats will taken control of Congress, too, and that would be the best possible result for the country.
I like Hillary, and always have. Like everyone else, I expect her to be the Democratic nominee, which means I’ll vote for her—because there’s no way in hell I’d vote for any of the Republican clowns, and only a Democrat or Republican can win the presidency. So, it’s an easy and obvious choice for me.
But there’s also this: Hillary’s campaign launch video includes same-gender couples—one of which talks about getting married—as part of the tapestry of America. I don’t know if this was a subtle dig at the Republican candidates—ALL of whom oppose marriage equality—but it is indicative of the sort of president Hillary would be for LGBT Americans, and it's one in cold, stark contrast to the mean-spiritedness (or far worse…) of the Republican candidates. The majority of Americans support marriage equality. Hillary does, too. So, it makes sense to have a brief mention in the video to show full inclusiveness.
The rightwing hates Hillary with a passion—and almost as much as they hate President Obama. They’ve been campaigning against her for years now, and the Republican Party has put out several anti-Hillary propaganda attack videos. Actually, the Republicans aren’t merely running a propaganda campaign: They’re running a crusade.
But if Republicans win the White House, America will lose. I have absolutely no doubt about that—particularly considering how truly awful all of their announced and probable candidates are.
Hillary’s not perfect—no one is—but we vote for a president, not a saint. I think she could be a really good president, even though I’m further to the left than she is. She’s right: Everyday Americans DO need an champion, and I believe she can be that champion.
There’s 1 year, 6 months, and 27 days until the 2016 US Presidential election.
Update 14 April: ABC (USA) News reports that an independent Russian TV station put an “18+” restriction on the announcement video above because of the country’s ban of “gay propaganda”, which bans the promotion of “non-traditional” relationships to minors. The law is so loosely written that ANY depiction of homosexuality—including the video’s brief scene of two men holding hands—cannot be shown to anyone under 18. The TV channel denies it was ordered to use the restriction by the authorities from the Russian dictatorship.