Hil­lary an­nounces White House bid, sets off on trail

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton promptly set off on the cam­paign trail af­ter mak­ing her long awaited en­try into the 2016 pres­i­den­tial race, and her po­ten­tial Repub­li­can Party ri­vals wasted no time of­fer­ing blis­ter­ing crit­i­cism of the for­mer sec­re­tary of state.

Clin­ton, seek­ing to be­come Amer­ica’s first fe­male pres­i­dent, an­nounced her can­di­dacy Sun­day and left on a roughly 1,000-mile (1,600-kilo­me­ter) trip from her New York home to Iowa, the Mid­west­ern state that kicks off the long, state- by- state con­test for the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion.

In a video mes­sage an­nounc­ing her can­di­dacy, Clin­ton promised to serve as the “cham­pion” of ev­ery­day Amer­i­cans in a coun­try with grow­ing in­come in­equal­ity.

Clin­ton ap­pears un­likely to face a for­mi­da­ble Demo­cratic op­po­nent in the pri­mary elec­tions. Should she win the nom­i­na­tion, Clin­ton would face the win­ner of a crowded Repub­li­can pri­mary field that could fea­ture as many as two dozen can­di­dates.

Ken­tucky Sen. Rand Paul, a fa­vorite among lib­er­tar­i­ans, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a cham­pion of the right-wing tea party move­ment, have al­ready en­tered the Repub­li­can race. Cuban- Amer­i­can Sen. Marco Ru­bio of Florida is ex­pected to an­nounce his bid to be the first His­panic pres­i­dent on Mon­day.

Repub­li­cans were al­ready try­ing to counter the for­mer first lady’s strong re­sume by cast­ing her as some­one who is not trust­wor­thy. They have jumped on her use of a per­sonal rather than a gov­ern­ment email ac­count and a server lo­cated in her home while she was Pres­i­dent Barack Obama’s first sec­re­tary of state. They have also raised ques­tions about dona­tions from for­eign gov­ern­ments to the Clin­ton fam­ily’s foun­da­tion.

Some Repub­li­cans sought to make for­eign pol­icy an is­sue at a time when the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is ne­go­ti­at­ing a nu­clear deal with Iran and mov­ing to re­store diplo­matic re­la­tions with Cuba.

While there are se­ri­ous pol­icy dif­fer­ences among the dozen or so ma­jor Repub­li­cans con­sid­er­ing a run for pres­i­dent, they ap­pear to have all con­cluded there’s lit­tle down­side in start­ing early when it comes to go­ing af­ter Clin­ton — an op­po­nent that only one of them has the chance to po­ten­tially face.

The crit­i­cism came with added re­quest for dona­tions.

Bush hit up sup­port­ers with a fundrais­ing ap­peal to help him stop Clin­ton’s “lib­eral agenda.” Paul started sell­ing “Hil­lary’s Hard Drive” on his web­site, a not- so- sub­tle ref­er­ence to the email and server con­tro­versy.

Un­like eight years ago, when she ran and lost the Demo­cratic nom­i­na­tion to Obama, Clin­ton and her per­sonal his­tory weren’t the fo­cus of the first mes­sage of her cam­paign Sun­day. She made no men­tion of her time in the U.S. Se­nate and her four years as sec­re­tary of state, or her po­ten­tial to make his­tory as the na­tion’s first fe­male pres­i­dent.

In­stead, the video is a col­lec­tion of vot­ers talk­ing about their lives, their plans and as­pi­ra­tions for the fu­ture.

Clin­ton hopes to avoid the same stum­bles in 2008, when she en­tered the race as a heavy fa­vorite only to be up­set by Obama in Iowa.

The 67-year-old Clin­ton brings a long public record to her sec- ond bid for the White House, a his­tory that will both help and hurt her can­di­dacy. Repub­li­cans were al­ready push­ing a mes­sage that seeks to at­tach her to the scan­dalous up­heavals of her hus­band Bill Clin­ton’s two-term pres­i­dency in the 1990s.

Un­der­stand­ing that, her staff has said she in­tends to cast her­self as a “te­na­cious fighter” determined to block the grow­ing power of an in­creas­ingly rightwing Repub­li­can Party that has sought to block Obama’s agenda and now con­trols both cham­bers of the U.S. Congress.

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