Even in photos, Hillary Clinton knows how to make quite an impression.
The political superstar has been captured in her element by the “Ready for Hillary” campaign, in a poster that shows her dressed in all-black with eyes fixed on her phone – secret service chic. “Ready for Hillary” is a two-year-old political action committee that is encouraging Clinton to run for President in 2016. The campaign visited Northwestern on October 24, 2014, to hand out free merchandise like buttons, bumper stickers and posters and collect contact information from potential voters. With so many supporters, however, critical concerns have begun to arise about Clinton’s gender and name recognition in regards to her potential candidacy.
The anticipation for a female president has been building since Clinton’s loss in the 2008 primaries to President Obama. The fervor is only growing as 2015 rolls along and politicians start to announce their intentions to run, leading people to wonder when Clinton is going to, if ever, announce her candidacy.
“She doesn’t need to announce early,” said Dr. Jonathan Day, an assistant professor of Political Science at Western Illinois University. “When candidates announce really early it is because they need to spend a lot of time raising money for the primaries and trying to get the most talented advisers.”
Dr. Day cites Clinton’s name recognition from her previously held position as Secretary of State and First Lady to former President Bill Clinton as the reason she doesn’t need the head start. This name recognition may only be amplified by the fact that Clinton is female. Arielle Ticho, a sophomore Social Policy major and member of the International Gender Equality Movement on campus, warns against looking just at gender.
“It’s important that we really critically look at what [Clinton is] hoping to establish and accomplish with her presidency and not just look at the fact that she’s a woman,” said Arielle.
Dr. Day does not think gender will have an effect on the election.“I think voters are more tied into party lines than they are into gender, race or religious background,” he said.
Norah Kilpatrick, a freshman who identifies as a Conservative Republican, thinks it’s important to look beyond gender when considering who to vote for in the elections.
“I’m a woman, I would love to see a woman president,” Kilpatrick said. “But I think we need the right woman president so we can say not only was our president a female but she was a rock star. I’m still waiting to see the candidate who will do that for me.”
Even if Hilary Clinton’s name recognition helps her in the primaries, there’s still the question of will it be enough by the time Election Day on November 8, 2016, rolls around? Is the country ready for Hillary?
Time will only tell. For now, lets hope that Hillary can get her emails in order. It’s definitely well past time for the country to have some authentic girl power in the Oval Office.
Photo courtesy of readyforhillary.com