In December 2012, just before the turn of the new year, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton collapsed from a blood clot in the back of her head. Her grueling travel schedule together with the possible personal health negligence could have been the cause.
It might well have been due to the media scrutiny she endured following the Benghazi consulate attack, or simply the austere passing of time that Clinton, then 65, surely felt. Whatever the case, her body was worse for wear and ready for a change of pace in efforts to rejuvenate her spirit.
Fitting, nearly two and a half years later, that she’s offering the same alleviation to the rest of the country. Clinton announced her bid for the 2016 presidential nomination just over a week ago, during a time where our nation is in need of a shift in focus. Fatigued by sycophantic promises of change, voters are hungry for an elected official who is quick to make headway in improving the issues she campaigned on. Enter Senator Secretary Hillary Clinton, Esq.
Under the public spotlight, she has displayed a reputable character fit for the presidency. Her unprevaricating demeanor and accountability under pressure attests that she is capable of politicking with uncompromised integrity. Her Illinois roots and personality without airs strikes home to those in middle America.
But more importantly, she brings immediate change to the Oval Office simply by nature of who she is as an individual.
We elect our public officials because of the potential of what they can accomplish. The democratic process holds them accountable and — in cases of dishonesty or unreliability — unemployed. Vapid promises sung during a campaign are washed out by the transient tenure our officials complete. Thus, the pressure to deliver is a fundamental motivation to the people we elect to office. The ones who achieve and sustain success do so because they infuse vitality into their promises. Because we, as voters, believe their potential. In Bush, it was his compassion and earnestness; Obama brought youth and intelligence; Clinton, unapologetically, embraces her womanhood.
Many, conservatives included, see it as patronizing to support a candidate because of her gender (a point, for what it’s worth, I agree with).
I’m confident, however, that Clinton has compiled so immaculate a resume as to count it completely laughable the notion that a vote cast for her is cast singly for the underrepresented gender. She has been elected as senator of New York — one of the most powerful legislative players in the country at the state level — twice. She served as secretary of state in Obama’s first term, amassing a library of travel logs while carrying out an exhausting diplomatic schedule; by visiting 112 countries, she traversed more of the globe than any other in her position had previously.
Maybe most importantly, she served as closely to the president as one can without being the president for eight years as First Lady; during that tenure, she was exposed to more publicity than any before who have stood at the right hand of the commander-in-chief.
What is the next predictable step for someone who has that kind of record? More appropriately, what’s the next predictable step for the nation that first has to choose her? By the general election, America will have lived out 16 years of presidential tenures primarily captivated by crises of near every variety — foreign, domestic, economic, environmental and military cataclysms have tirelessly dominated our nation’s stories for as long as I can remember (literally).
Until recent years, formal discussions of social issues have taken a back seat to the more dire. With the economic recovery complete and tangible strides taken in diplomatic relations with Cuba and Iran, we seem poised as a nation to reexamine ourselves. Younger voters are eager to tackle issues of race, issues of class and issues of gender.
Just like Clinton, we’re ready to roll up our sleeves and dirty our hands. And just like Clinton, we’re ready to get our blood pumping again.
Jack Olmstead is a sophomore neuroscience major from Escondido, Calif. He is a guest columnist for the Lariat.