COUNTERPOINT: Hillary Clinton will win, but more important is how she will govern

I continue to place my bets on Clinton, who has had enough good experience in office to merit both the nomination and the mandate of the American people.

Barring any tragic incidents for the Clinton campaign or America and the world, Hillary Clinton will win the 2016 presidential election when Americans go to the polls on Nov. 8 of next year. The Republic front-runners at the moment are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas. While Bush is more pragmatic and open than his brother, he is not an inspiring or likable character. As for Cruz? Well, I’ve already made my views clear on him. He should probably stick to reading "Green Eggs and Ham."

Admittedly (and sadly), the pervading sentiment behind these elections is the lack of a universally-appealing candidate. All those who have declared their candidacies and who will likely do so operate in the shadow of the “Obama effect,” that emotional and almost spiritual fervor with which Americans went to the polls to vote back in 2008, because they were invigorated by the promise of a renewed American Dream represented in the person of President Barack Obama.

Yet, with Obama now being probably the most attacked president in recent history, no one has risen to his stature. The fact that Hillary Clinton will probably be the first female president, isn’t as exciting as the first African-American president, or one of the youngest. It might be, if Clinton wasn’t such a vision of old-style Washington politics.

The only candidate who even comes close to exuding the youth and vitality necessary to inspire America again is Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. He has experience in foreign relations, a field of interest growing in importance every day (as evidenced by Bob Corker’s new bill), and he has a proven record on immigration reform.

But I don’t think Americans are ready to return to having a Republican in the White House. Even amid government shutdowns, Americans still favor divided government. Given that we have a Republican Congress in place, I continue to place my bets on Clinton, who has had enough good experience in office to merit both the nomination and the mandate of the American people.

Clinton will need to use all of that experience to her advantage as she governs the country. During her time as First Lady, Clinton was the power behind the throne of the Clinton dynasty, as well as a foreign policy actor, making visits to China to break ground on women’s rights and trade before Obama’s “pivot to Asia” was even heard of. Her record as Secretary of State, although mediocre, has more to do with the institutional aspects of the cabinet than with Clinton’s ability to interpret and understand moving trends.

Benghazi, which the Republicans have used to taint her record, was something that Clinton could have done little to mitigate. Even if she had done more, there probably still would have been damage. Libya was Obama’s child to raise after he helped overthrow the Gaddafi regime, and ultimately the responsibility for what came after lay with him.

More pragmatic and reasonable Republicans are saying that Hillary Clinton would do a good job in certain areas of presidential action, especially foreign policy. Sen. Lindsey Graham said that Hillary Clinton “would do better” than our current president in getting a deal with Iran on its nuclear program. Although it is very mean-spirited and backhanded to compliment Clinton while demeaning Obama, it proves a point. Not that Obama is doing all that bad.

Sitting here writing this, I cannot help but feel amazed. What is special about this election, if nothing else, is that it will be the first in which the next president was hailed as such before the previous one even really became a lame duck. 

Reach the columnist at jbrunne2@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @JARBrunner4.

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

Want to join the conversation? Send an email to opiniondesk.statepress@gmail.com. Keep letters under 300 words and be sure to include your university affiliation. Anonymity will not be granted.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


Get the best of State Press delivered straight to your inbox.