Hilary Clinton revamps campaign for 2016 presidential bid
By ALEX SPENCE
Former First Lady and Democratic candidate is back in the saddle again. Clinton announced her presidential candidacy on April 12, via a video posted on YouTube and on her campaign website. Presenting herself as a champion for everyday Americans, Hillary Clinton says she is “hitting the road to earn our votes.”
Though her presidential bid is not surprising, many are talking about the revamp of Clinton’s campaign, as well as herself.
Clinton announced that she would be running for president for the first time in 2007, she was interviewed in her own home, and was the only individual to appear in the announcement.
Eight years later, Clinton is finally ready to reintroduce herself to voters across the nation. She has made strategic changes that I believe will resonate much more with the voters of 2015 than her 2008 campaign did.
Clinton’s announcement for 2016 featured many diverse individuals and families going through their every day motions. Women going to work, a college graduate looking for a job and two men preparing to be married were all featured in the video.
Near the end of the announcement, Clinton revealed she was prepared to do something too, she was running for president.
Comparing her presidential campaign to 2008, 2016 begs the question: has she learned from her mistakes and will her second time around win her the nomination?
During her run in 2008, Clinton decided to put the focus of her gender in the background and instead emphasized a substantive policy agenda. She wanted to be seen as a candidate, not a woman. While that was a noble approach, it lead to issues within her campaign.
Clinton, being the first female presidential primary candidate to hold a chance of winning, has decided to take the opposing standpoint concerning gender this time around. I believe this change is one that will affect the vote tremendously.
She realized it was impossible to ignore the elephant in the room. The elephant, of course being that she was a female running for a position that had consistently been a “man’s” job for centuries. That being said, Clinton’s way in for 2016 could be her advantage among women.
The central theme of her current campaign focuses on improving the economic status of the middle class and increasing wages while emphasizing women’s rights, such as issues concerning childcare and abortion rights.
According to NBC, women are voting at higher percentages, and while Clinton will have to earn the vote of more than just women, she may be able to sway a large percent of the population due to common experience.
“If she overplayed it, which she won’t, it could backfire,” said Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, according to CNN.
While Clinton has the upper hand with women, there is a thin line between working her angle and overplaying it.
In fact, a recent issue caused a small stir within the voters is Clinton’s apparent shift on same-sex marriage. According to NBC, Clinton appeared in an interview with NPR in June, where she discussed her opinion of how same-sex marriage should be handled.
“For me, marriage had always been a matter left to the states,” Clinton said, in her 2014 interview.
However, since then she has declared her full support for the issue of same-sex marriage, and has even expressed her hopes that same-sex marriage will become a constitutional right.
Critics then began to ask if her shift in views was merely for a political purpose. To which Clinton’s responded, “That is just flat wrong.”
While questions concerning Clinton’s opinion on same-sex marriage may be causing stress on her campaign, it is certainly not her No. 1 focus.
In what most likely will be her last presidential bid, Clinton must pull out all the stops to win the nomination, and perhaps the election. She has certainly made strides in developing a more strategic campaign, but will her changes be enough to win over the voters?
Of course no one knows which way the vote will swing, but I do believe her decision to bring gender into the foreground will make a positive impact.
Clinton’s four-year tenure as Secretary of State has provided her with enough experience to step up her game and throw her hat into the ring once again. With the new and improved Hillary Clinton taking center stage, there are high hopes for her this time around.