[Newsmaker] Clinton hints at first U.S. woman presidency
American media is gushing at the possibility that Hillary Rodham Clinton is gearing up for another run to become the first woman president of the United States in 2016.
The former U.S. secretary of state said last week she hoped to see a woman president in her life, though did not name herself specifically.
“Hypothetically speaking, I really do hope that we have a woman president in my lifetime,” the Democrat said at a private women’s lecture series in Toronto on Friday, before being interrupted by audience cheers. She said a woman winning “would send exactly the right historical signal to girls and women, as well as boys and men.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton
If she makes her second bid and wins, the self-proclaimed “glass ceiling breaker” would join the small but growing group of women leaders including Britain’s late Margaret Thatcher, Germany’s Angela Merkel and South Korea’s Park Geun-hye.
The former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state is by far one of the clearest favorites to win the Democratic ticket, earning the favor of 6 in 10 Americans and the backing of growing political action base Ready For Hillary, as well as U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri, a key Barack Obama supporter in 2008 and the first sitting Congress member to make an endorsement.
However, Clinton’s handling of Benghazi under Obama’s first term and the people’s declining sentiment toward her party over the next few years will be among her major hurdles.
Though Clinton is far from throwing her hat back into the ring, the longtime politician has used her newfound free time since leaving President Obama’s aid in February to strut her cool side as well as cater to domestic issues, particularly early childhood care and education. Pundits see the moves as a strategic bid to warm up to Americans who found her too frigid and unrelatable in comparison to the charismatic Obama in the last presidential round, and even to her saxophone-serenading husband, popular former ‘90s President Bill.
Now out of the heat of the global affairs limelight, the 65-year-old is working on a down-to-earth image. She joined Twitter earlier this month and won north of half a million followers in less than two weeks. With four tweets to date, she has given a sly nod to the fanboys of the once-viral Texts From Hillary website with her first chirp and Twitter profile photo borrowed from them, taken “selfies back stage” with daughter Chelsea at a #CGIAmerica convention, and acknowledged her image as a “pantsuit aficionado.”
As the election is still years away, the other side of the aisle has yet to produce a clear contender. Polls say Sarah Palin, former vice presidential Republican candidate and Alaska governor, would not even sway the votes of her home state in a face-off against Clinton.
Whether it’s her or someone else to take the helm, Clinton said women’s rise in politics is largely up to them, in the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, having skin as tough as a rhinoceros, and subjecting themselves to the tough political process. Then it’s up to the people to decide the best man or woman for the job.
“You have to step up, you have to dare to compete, you have to get into the process. Then the country, our country, has to take a leap of faith.”
By Elaine Ramirez (email@example.com