This weekend Americans heard the announcement we all knew was coming: Hillary Clinton will be running for president in 2016. Many people are excited at the prospect of a second Clinton presidency and are excitedly proclaiming that they are “ready for Hillary”. While her announcement video is particularly well made and is a testament to the capability and skillfulness of her campaign team, Hillary Clinton does not have the temperament and attitude fitting for the presidency of the United States.
The greatest things about Hillary Clinton’s announcement video are its broad appeal and relatability. Throughout the video we see Americans from all walks of life, demonstrating a cross-section of the nation that is recognizable to everyone. We see a middle-aged woman planting her tomato garden, a young mother and her daughter, two brothers opening their own business, a couple expecting a baby boy, a college student, a gay engaged couple, a woman about to retire, a blue collar worker and more. This broad selection of American experiences seems to portray Hillary as America’s candidate, the natural person to lead this country into the future, which is of course the intent of the video. Clinton’s announcement strikes a strong populist tone, portrays her as the natural representative or ordinary Americans, and speaks out against economic inequality. All things considered, the video is extremely well made and Clinton is lucky to have such a talented campaign staff. It would be more effective if the candidate were someone other than Hillary Clinton.
The most interesting point in Clinton’s announcement video is the statement, “So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote because it’s your time” (emphasis added). Hillary Clinton’s suggestion that she is running for president out of a sense of civic duty seems wildly disingenuous, although all politicians typically make these claims. Clinton’s traditionally imperious bearing, secrecy and general disinterest in engaging the American people when a campaign is not near, make it more likely that personal ambition, rather than civic duty, is the chief motive of her presidential aspirations.
In an article for Politico, Kate Andersen Brower provides insight into Clinton’s character during Bill Clinton’s presidency by providing excerpt from her book “The Residence”. She writes that White House butler James Hall was reprimanded by Hillary because he did not take an empty cup from a guest and was not asked to return for a month. His job was to pour drinks and other butlers were responsible for taking dishes, but that made no difference to the First Lady. Former storeroom manager Bill Hamilton relates that Hillary would snap at White House workers who spoke to her during Bill Clinton’s impeachment proceedings. White House Usher Worthington White tells of a time Hillary ordered him to stay indefinitely past his shift because she wanted him specifically to escort her back from a sit by the pool. Other workers write about the paranoia of the Clintons, saying they changed the White House phone system because they were worried the staff would listen to their phone calls. White House Usher Chris Emery was fired after helping Barbara Bush when she lost a chapter of her memoir. Hillary Clinton saw the phone logs and suspected he was sharing information with the Bushes. Some workers claimed that Hillary’s explosive anger toward President Clinton after the Lewinsky scandal broke was not motivated by his infidelity, but by his inability to prevent the story from reaching the press. The accounts in this article present an unflattering portrait of Clinton. She appears to be haughty, paranoid, secretive, petulant and accustomed to being obeyed. These are poor and potentially dangerous traits for the president of the United States.
Another worrying moment was Clinton’s indignant response to Congressional questioning on why it took so long to determine there were no protests during the 2012 Benghazi attack, a legitimate question to ask. More recently, her recent e-mail controversy (in which her lawyers selected which of her e-mails the State Department should have access to and deleted the rest) raises eyebrows. Clinton has repeatedly demonstrated qualities that make her clearly unsuitable to be president of the United States. Yet when you have a great campaign staff, the right last name and iconic status among the American people, these problems will not matter to a large number of Americans.