On Sunday evening, Hillary Clinton declared her candidacy for President of the United States, setting the stage for a historic campaign that many believe will culminate in American having its first Madam President. And while many within the Democratic Party assume she’s a shoe-in for the party’s nomination, it’s important to remember that many people presumed the same thing back in 2008. Then Barack Obama happened.
The fact is, the Presidency of Hillary Clinton is not a sure thing, and she’s sure to face an uphill battle if she wants to become the next President. Of course, in a number of ways Hillary is the perfect candidate: She’s got the brains, the name recognition, a massive following, and a husband that many would love to see play out the role of the First Husband.
At the same time, Secretary Clinton comes with more baggage than most. As first lady, she failed to achieve the health care reform that had been the focus of her attention during her time in the While House. Then, as a United States Senator, she accomplished relatively little. And despite the historic nature of having become the only First Lady of the United States to become a member of the United States Cabinet, her tenure as Secretary of State was in many ways colored in by the events and aftermath of Bengazi.
The thing that’s interesting about Hillary’s candidacy is that none of that really matters in the end. With so many advantages and disadvantages at play all at once, it’s doubtful that her professional record will be a determining factor in the election. Regardless of whether you love her or hate her, it’s difficult to argue that Hillary Clinton isn’t qualified for the job.
If Secretary Clinton wants to win the Presidency of the United States, she’ll need to convince America that she’s like-able, and that won’t be easy. Even in the video announcing her candidacy, she came across as a typical politician. Of course, having spent a lifetime in politics, it’s not shocking that she’s become precisely that. And that’s the catch – Hillary can win, but only by reclaiming her humanity with a dash of humility. She needs to connect to the American voter, not simply on matters of policy, but on a personal level, and this is where the challenge lies.
As ironic as it might be, if Hillary wants to win the race for President, she’s going to have to throw conventional political theories out the window, and in a number of ways do exactly the opposite of what you’d expect from a female candidate for President.
While many female candidates for President might face an uphill battle proving they’ve got the “balls” and “strength” to be President, Hillary’s already won that battle. In her case, Hillary simply needs to show the American people her softer side. That means talking openly and honestly about the challenges she’s faced in her marriage, the challenges she’s faced as a mother, and provide a glimmer of light into what it’s like to have gone through everything she’s gone through.
If Hillary can do this, and connect with America as a human being, her success will be all but guaranteed. Consequently, the only true obstacle that stands between her and the presidency is her own ego, and the only question remaining is whether she’ll be able to set her ego aside for long enough to connect to average Americans…
Note: This post was originally published on AmericanMillennials.com on April 15, 2015.