The Day the American Primaries Started

13 avril 2015
Le point de vue de Barthélémy Courmont
The veil has finally been lifted on the United States’ worst kept secret since her departure from the political scene in 2013: Hillary Clinton has officially announced that she is running in the Democratic primaries for the presidential elections of November 2016. The campaign has thus officially started, and it will end with the designation of Barack Obama’s successor after a long fight of over 500 days.

The announcements of Ted Cruz and Rand Paul were the first official entries in the campaign, but faced with meager chances, it is Jeb Bush’s will to represent the Grand Old Party that ignited the hostilities. The both brother and son to presidents is not yet in the race, but has already been projected as the Republican favorite. Nostalgia would have some dreaming of a Bush-Clinton face-off, allowing for the opportunity to bring out the banners and badges from 1992 for the beloved American sequel. We can already imagine Bill Clinton heading back out onto the campaign trail, after the 1992 and 1996 campaigns in his name, and the 2008 one for his wife. His 1992 slogan “two presidents for the price of one” which aimed to flaunt the many qualities of his partner, could reemerge this time around. With names like these, capable of garnering massive electoral and financial support, it will be admittedly complicated for any competition to find its place in this race. Hillary Clinton is already projected to win the Democratic primaries even though no other candidate has come forward as of yet. Among those rumored to run is Elizabeth Warren, the senator from Massachusetts who has been very critical of the financial system, who could be a fearsome opponent for the previous First Lady. However Warren has not shown nor fed any rumors indicating an electoral run. Though the road has not been fully cleared for Mrs. Clinton, there has not yet been a notable obstacle to her nomination as Democratic candidate.

“Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion”. This will surely be the key sentence to remember from Mrs. Clinton’s announcement. This phrase is seemingly inspired by the will to both block the way for Elizabeth Warren and to distinguish herself from the Republican candidates. However the phrase also casts a shadow of doubt on the depth of the candidate’s program, who will have a hard time distancing herself from the Barack Obama administration – of which she was Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. The sentence aligns Mrs. Clinton’s program with the current president’s actions by default. It is however rare in recent American history to see two presidents from the same party elected in succession, especially after having worked in the same administration. The last time this happened was in 1988, and the lucky winner was the previous Vice-President to Ronald Reagan, a certain George Bush…

Barack Obama has already pledged his support to the candidate he defeated in 2008 after an intense struggle. This presidential support seems to already bar the way for any other serious Democratic candidate to step forward. This seat is taken. Is this an advantage? Not necessarily. The campaign has barely started, and for most hopefuls has not started at all. Yet the Republican Party already knows who their rival will be. Much like a re-election scenario, Hillary Clinton will be the focal point of all her rivals, and it would be surprising that the Republicans have not already established what subjects they will attack her on. After a rather dull 2012 campaign due to the inconsistency of Obama’s rival candidates, the 2016 election promises to be far more exciting.
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