Hillary or Clinton?

By setting her sights on the White House in 2016, Hillary Clinton is facing a real danger: herself.

As of Sunday, it’s official: Hillary Rodham Clinton will launch an attack on the White House.

In fact, she made the announcement by way of a tweet and a video, in which she placed emphasis on women, minorities, families, inequality and the American entrepreneurial spirit, with a backdrop of the accomplishment of the “American dream:” a video where she only appears at the end.

This method is an indicator of the direction that “Hillary 2016” is taking. Rather than marking the start of her campaign with a mass gathering — which Marco Rubio did when he announced his candidacy for the Republican Party the day before — she has chosen to hit the road, heading for Iowa, New Hampshire (the state in which Barack Obama came to prominence in January 2008, and whose caucus and primaries have the potential to change the campaign), South Carolina and Nevada.

The announcement of her candidacy has been considered a campaign of closeness, where everything is engineered to avoid the pitfalls of 2008 and banks on Hillary’s great strengths.

Indeed, that campaign was perceived as being too aggressive, too determined, too cold, not “Clinton” enough and often out-of-touch with the masses. Therefore, seven years later, her campaign team has chosen to favor direct contact and small groups.

Her Own Worst Enemy

While there is no candidate likely to have praise lavished upon them at the Democratic National Convention as in 2008, Hillary remains faced with a real danger: herself.

She is her own worst enemy in this campaign, of which analysts say, “It’s hers to lose.” And what’s known as the “invisible primary” — the year that precedes an election cycle, and which immediately allows you to choose from the assumed candidates — could be a very long one for the woman who has already been crowned the “inevitable” candidate.

As always, there will be local candidates of course, or candidates who only campaign in a few states. And on a national level, if some of them can tickle Clinton, most will remain at square one.

Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts and a former law professor at Harvard, is a “liberal.” Known for her scathing criticism of Wall Street, she is “too” far to the left to attract widespread support, including her party’s convention. Nevertheless, her presence in the debate would make it possible to force Hillary Clinton to take this “liberal” wing into account. She was without doubt the most credible rival, but she has now announced that she will not run in this campaign.

Clinton sometimes reminds you of Martin O’Malley, the former governor of Maryland, especially in terms of his looks and charisma. But this is not enough to compensate for his lack of experience on a national level.

Barely older than Hillary, Jim Webb is a Vietnam hero who has also held roles as secretary of the navy under Reagan and senator for Virginia. His potential candidacy has been torpedoed by some of his slightly backward views.

Joe Biden is a veteran of presidential elections, but at 72 years old, he is now older than the oldest president ever elected, Ronald Reagan. You have to think back to the polls in 2008, when Americans seemed more prepared to elect a black president than a septuagenarian one. Adding to that, Biden’s credibility sometimes leaves a lot to be desired.

Finally, Bernie Sanders, senator from Vermont, describes himself as an independent and a Socialist. However, even if his candidacy looks interesting, at 73 years of age, he can’t seriously expect to compete with Hillary Clinton.

Incidentally, the 796 super-delegates (those whose participation at the national convention does not depend on being appointed in the primary election cycle, but comes as a right) are the ones who have already openly lent Clinton their support for the national convention.

The Power of a Network

The indisputable advantage that Hillary Clinton has over her rivals is a vast network.

This means it is volunteers (it was they who forged Barack Obama’s victory in 2008) and political support (cultivated by the Clintons for several decades), but above all, donors who are crucially important in this campaign. It is estimated that the 2016 Democratic candidate will attract $2.5 billion in support.

In so doing, the compilation put together by RealClearPolitics, the polling data aggregator, shows the extent of Hillary Clinton’s lead over her potential rivals in the last three weeks.

What’s more, her lead at the presidential election (assuming that Jeb Bush will oppose her in November 2016) is also clear.

Nevertheless, with such long-term (and unprecedented) media overexposure, Hillary Clinton will have to fight against herself and her weaknesses, which the Republicans will be ready to exploit. This is where the great prudence of last Sunday’s announcement comes from.

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