She will return to Iowa next Wednesday to campaign for Bruce Braley’s Senate bid. Democrats have little doubt that she will make a run for the presidency in 2016. However, many progressives have a love-hate relationship with Hillary Clinton.
Republican Joni Ernst is leading in the polls, and most importantly has a larger lead with independent voters. Before the campaigns began, Democrats were confident that Braley would hold the seat for Democrats which was vacated when Tom Harkin decided to retire. Ernst’s views on the issues are extreme, and moderates in Iowa were expected to reject her.
Ernst leads in support from men; Braley has more support from women. This may be because of Ernst’s views on increasing the minimum wage; she’s against it; her stand against equal pay for women in the workplace; and her pro-life position where she believes ‘personhood’ should be granted to a fetus at the moment of fertilization.
Here’s where Clinton comes into play. In a previous fund raiser for Braley she was ambiguous about the issues; merely speaking the political narrative of ‘Democrats are good, Republicans are bad.’ She will have to be more specific next week with the election less than a week away.
A serious point of contention between Clinton and progressives has many on the left side of the aisle unsettled; she supports elements allowing the NSA to gather information from United States Citizens. This will be a position which may become problematic in the 2016 campaign. Radicals such as Rand Paul continue to attack the NSA, and according to polls, he has the majority of the nation’s people standing beside him.
However, that does not lead to an assumption that she will not be 100 percent supported by all progressives, both moderate and more extreme. They believe she has the best chance of winning in 2016, and the ultimate goal is to keep the Presidency in Democratic hands.
As the presidential race begins, will she be open and strong about her views on the important issues? This is the question Republican supporters are asking long before the 2016 campaigns begin spending money.
Speculation that she will declare her candidacy has been long-lived and continuous. Earlier this year when she began to hit the campaign trail in support of Democratic candidates it was also assumed that she was beginning her own campaign. Appearing ‘off of her game’ earlier, she has moved quickly and smoothly; regaining the ‘Clinton style’ and mesmerizing audiences.
Polls taken in several states maintain that she would defeat all Republican candidates. Is that the result of a weak Republican field, or is it the fact that she is better known and a woman?
Her greatest strength is likely demonstrated by her support of women and women’s rights. Female voters are the fasting growing group in politics. As the numbers of women who are deciding to choose careers instead of marriage, and are waiting longer to have children continues to expand, they have become more concerned about politics and the future of our nation. Unlike the 1950’s they no longer are compelled to vote in the same manner as their significant others.
Finally, although Hillary Clinton may have a love-hate relationship with progressives, they will strongly support her candidacy. Will she modify some of her views to insure solidarity among her base? Probably not. Her strength has always been in her convictions. She sometimes gets herself in trouble for what she says, but she never hesitates to speak her mind. She has shown that she is more ‘mellow’ since 2008; but, in the end, love her or hate her or something in between, she will be Hillary.
By James Turnage