After years of speculation, Hillary Clinton just announced what we all knew was coming: she’s running for president in 2016.
The former Secretary of State, New York Senator and First Lady released a video on her website Sunday afternoon, where she expressed her desire to be the “Everyday Americans’ champion” before announcing her campaign.
The announcement was met with excitement among Democratic voters, many of whom had been awaiting the news with anticipation.
She will kick off her campaign with a voter meet-and-greet in Iowa next month, according to the New York Times. The move is a strategic one as Clinton famously underperformed in the state during the 2008 caucus, a move some say cost her the presidency.
But while Clinton is the likely shoe-in for the Democratic candidate, her campaign won’t be without its problems.
From questions about whether she will align herself with Obama to questions of honesty, it will certainly be an uphill battle. Her most recent flub came just weeks ago when it was revealed that she used personal email addresses for correspondence during her tenure as Secretary of State, a move that not only meant she could pick and choose what she shared publicly, but also left highly classified secrets open for hacking. The lack of transparency, coupled with the violation of federal requirements, caused a media firestorm, one that Clinton is still trying to put out.
Recent polls indicated that in key states like Colorado, Virginia and, of course, Iowa, Clinton was falling behind Republican candidates when it came to voter trust. If she gets a strong Black voter turnout in some of those states, Virginia especially, it could help her immensely, reports say.
But perhaps Clinton’s biggest problem is that she may not be as popular among Black populations as her husband, former President Bill Clinton, or President Obama was; a fact that could potentially harm her in huge ways. She will likely need to obtain above 90 percent of the Black vote to have a fighting chance (Barack Obama, in comparison, had 95 percent of the vote in 2008, and 93 percent in 2012).
Even more important, however, could be the Black female vote. In Clinton’s previous bids, she downplayed gender roles in favor of demonstrating that she was “tough enough” to handle control of the country. But more women may look to Clinton to play up her roles as a wife and grandmother as one of her biggest strengths, rather than something to downplay.
She would also be wise not to overlook the issues of social justice plaguing the country. The true test of Clinton’s power among liberals and young voters may ultimately be how she treats police brutality and protests like the #BlackLivesMatter movement.
The campaign for 2016 is likely Clinton’s last chance at becoming president, so time will tell.
Will you be voting for Hillary or are you undecided? Sound off in the comments below.