By Yero Jallow
“People say that if you find water rising up to your ankle, that’s the time to do something about it, not when it’s around your neck.” – Chinua Achebe.
Oh well, good luck to the Clintons. Hilary Clinton has been dragging her feet on this, but her interest in the presidency is no hidden secret. That is at least known to us for the past 9 years or so. Now that she formerly announced her candidature, let us christen her first for the big name –Mrs.
President! That comes with a lot of reviews.
Why her? For many, Hilary represents that hope, likely first woman president, just like Obama was that hope as first black President in the U.S. Besides, the Clintons are a household name in America and beyond, for their personality, charisma, and representation in leadership at higher governance.
But agreeably America is different. America no doubt have enormous respect for women but deep down the hearts, the job of a president is tradition viewed as that of a man’s job. I am sure others might have different opinions on this.
For all we know, former President Clinton earned the respect of many, and
thoughtfully in his heart a Blackman. No other U.S President closed the racial gaps like Clinton did, especially when it comes to his unreserved love and respect for Black people. Can this translate to votes when it comes to Hillary’s candidature? One would think so.
Hillary Clinton is no small cookie as well. She is coming from a law background, later in the Senate for eight years, and also served the Obama Administration as Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013. That record is not empty.
But there are some huddles; I mean big huddles on the way for the Clinton
girl. I firmly believe that Monica’s sex scandal with Bill will certainly surface when the political waters muddy themselves. It will be very ugly.
Hillary is really innocent on the whole scandal. Matter of fact, she should be respected for being with her husband despite all the ugly coverage that came with the Monica scandal. Only few in a million can handle it the way she did.
While serving the Obama Administration as Secretary of State, she fainted due to a dehydrating stomach virus in 2013. Like Mary Stanik of the MinnPost questioned then: “How healthy do our top leaders need to be?” The Republicans’ big machinery is likely to make a big case out of this.
During her tenure as Secretary of State, the massacre on Benghazi that claimed the U.S Consulate and several orders was a security failure, and it goes to affect her Presidency and that of the Obama Administration.
Recently, Hillary has been in a hot chase over using her personal email, the controversy of which is genuine, but blown out of proportion by political strategies especially on Fox News. Hillary as a potential Presidential candidate should have known better, but an African traditional saying goes, “The eye will never see the stick that hurts it.” Now Hillary lives to deal with her wounds.
Before Hillary will get to contest against the Republicans in the Presidential elections, she will have to pass the first litmus paper test, contesting against her fellow potential democratic candidates. That requires a lot of endorsements from party surrogates, debates, giving speeches around in an effort to gauge her political rating and chances of defeating any Republican candidate. At that point, if the odds are against Hillary, that might be the first drop-out in the race for the Presidency.
If by luck, Hillary passes through that stage, it gets her to fight against the big boys of the Republican Party, who are good at tearing apart and unreserved the level to which they can shred. Good luck to Clinton!
Despite some of these known and unknown odds, Clinton needs to build a
strong grassroots campaign, one that focuses on getting the votes for her.
It is possible to do it. She will have to be ready to handle foreign policy, immigration, race, internal security, gay rights, and a lot more.
She needs to build her own record and not rely much on some of Obama’s
record. A question on the nuclear negotiation with Iran is certainly
waiting. How about Russia and North Korea? She will also need a strong
campaign team, one that will handle substance cleverly and do damage
Said and done, Clinton is a great person. I am sure she will not lose anything for contesting both at preliminary level and possibly at the final stage of the bid for the Presidency.