The announcement of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy for U.S. president, hardly a surprise, marks the starting signal for the race towards the world’s most powerful office. With the elections 18 months away, Clinton must first get through her own party’s primaries — probably the simplest part, contrary to what happened in 2008 — and then go head-to-head in the ballot box with the Republican candidate. From here on in, however, the former secretary of state and Democratic senator’s moves open up a new perspective on everything that happens in U.S. politics.
It is enormously positive that a woman is aspiring — with well-founded chances, though success is not guaranteed and November 2016 is still a long way off — to hold an office that transcends national borders. Clinton’s arrival in the White House would be a landmark no less important than Obama’s victory, that of a black senator born before the complete abolition of racial segregation throughout the U.S.
To her credit, Clinton has an almost magnetic way about her with citizens: she has shown ample times during her personal and professional trajectory that she does not allow herself to be intimidated by circumstances and that she fights for her goals. After a complicated period as first lady, she demonstrated that she had her own personality by being twice elected senator from New York. Then, in the Democratic primaries, she went head-to-head with the most glowing U.S. political figure in many years: Barack Obama.
Against her is the possibility that the fight for the White House might, once again, be between a Democrat called Clinton and a Republican called (Jeb) Bush. This would damage the idea, the very one that Obama represents, that the presidency is not a prize handed out to members of powerful dynasties; Martin O’Malley, one of Clinton’s Democratic rivals, was quick to point this out: “[T]he presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families.” As well as that, Clinton has been affected by a case of misconduct in which she used an ordinary email address to send emails relating to foreign policy and security.
In 2008, believing the White House within reach, Clinton saw her ambition thwarted. Far from throwing in the towel, she made the most of the mandate of a man who defeated her, Obama, to consolidate her political career and — a model of tenacity and pragmatism — to try it once again.