This past weekend, Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for presidency.
For many, her candidacy was a foregone conclusion years ago (having lost to Barack Obama in a contentious 2008 Democratic Party primary), but Clinton has bided her time for her chance to run for the presidency after Obama’s term expired.
With 2016 quickly approaching and candidates on the Right announcing their intentions to run for the presidency (and others heavily implying they’re about to do the same), it was the perfect time for Hillary to announce herself.
The former Secretary of State and First Lady strikes a Populist tone in her first campaign video:
“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times,” she says, “But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top.” “Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion," she adds.
Clinton faces virtually no feasible opposition from her colleagues in the Democratic Party; she’s in the top tier all by herself at this point, and it is likely to remain as such.
She’s also the preference for the presidency itself for many groups of Americans, including younger generations. There are many reasons for this.
For starters, the political stances of the Republican candidates do not resonate with young voters. On issues like immigration, women’s rights and help for the middle class, the GOP stands steadfast against common sense solutions and protection for individuals.
The party of “no” simply isn’t an option for many Millennials.
Instead of trying to fix this perception, conservative candidates may continue antagonizing young voters as the months wear on.
As campaign season heats up, the rhetoric on the Right will undoubtedly aim to win the Republican Party nomination, but it will also alienate everyone else in the process.
Saying you’re against amnesty for undocumented immigrants or climate change is caused by volcanoes may resonate with the conservative base, but it will turn off regular voters in the general election.
Millennial voters will especially find it hard to support candidates on those two issues alone, as we’re a more diverse generation (and, thus, more inclusive) when it comes to immigration, and a good handful of us are aware the Earth is heating up due to human activity.
Beyond pure politics, however, Hillary’s appeal to Millennials may lie in a more subtle way. She’s been a part of our lives from almost the very start, and she has stayed with us throughout our formative years.
Like a surrogate “political mother,” Clinton has been a constant presence for Millennials. She has also been a part of the national landscape from our childhood into adulthood.
We recall images of her in the White House with her husband Bill, the president, and daughter Chelsea (we remember Socks the cat, too). She was elected to serve in the US Senate in 2000 after her husband’s time in the executive office was finished.
Many of us voted for her for president in 2008 during the thrilling primary season against Barack Obama, and her service to the country as Secretary of State will not go unnoticed.
Yes, much of Clinton’s time has also been tumultuous. Millennials will likely remember the acts of adultery that were committed by her husband while he was president, but Hillary did the unthinkable back then: She stood by her man.
It takes a strong woman to do that, especially when every word or action seen on camera is being scrutinized and criticized by the national media.
Though our generation supports women’s rights and the ability for women to live their own lives, Millennials respect the courage it took for Clinton to stand by her husband during his impeachment hearings.
It’d have been easy — and understandable — for her to have walked away from her marriage at that time. Instead, she and Bill worked through it, and they came out of it stronger than ever.
To put it bluntly, we’ve grown up with the Clintons, and they’ve grown with us. Hillary has always been a part of our lives in some capacity, and her attitudes on issues have evolved with the current generational shift.
It’ll be difficult for other candidates, Republican or Democratic, to penetrate the already-established feelings our generation has for Clinton.
She might not be universally respected nationally, but the support for her among Millennials is strong.
A year from now, this support may be instrumental in her in winning the presidency.