STORY BY SARAH GROSSMAN
Former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, announced on April 12 that she will run for the 2016 presidential election.
This marks Clinton’s second attempt at making it to the Oval Office, losing the democratic bid to President Barack Obama seven years ago in the primaries.
Clinton returned to Des Moines on Tuesday to introduce her 2016 cycle, despite losing the caucuses in 2008.
“Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times,” Clinton said in her official video announcement. “But the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion”
Clinton’s announcement was highly anticipated and she has currently been traveling through the state of Iowa.
“She’s a person who’s politically made many public mistakes, but had many public victories,” said Jennifer Glover-Konfrst, public relations and strategic political communications professor. “In many ways, she’s the most vetted candidate in recent memory.”
As someone who began following the Clinton elections in the late 1980s, Konfrst understands the process and what might come next from Clinton.
“Millions of people have never voted for Hillary Clinton or Bill Clinton ever,” Konfrst said. “She needs to use this time to reintroduce herself. She needs to introduce her rationale and she’s going to need to start talking pretty quick about what her priorities are for this campaign.”
Groups and people across campus have different expectations for what this race might hold.
“I think it’s a long way until the caucuses,” Riley Willman, junior international relations student and communications director for Drake Democrats said. “Anything could change, anything could happen.”
The Drake Democrats, who originally started as a campaigning group for Obama, is taking a rather neutral stance.
“We try not to align with one candidate,” Willman said. “I think we’re just excited to have a candidate declared. We’re glad that there’s someone talking about the causes we support on a national level. And I think some people see that in Clinton, but I think there are others who see other potential candidates championing that cause.”
However, Clinton’s campaign release last week showed a very different direction than her first campaign, and some might see this as a very positive turn of events.
“I think that the conventional wisdom is better than 2008,” Konfrst said. “It’s easy to criticize it now, at the time everyone was saying ‘oh she’s a super star she’s a rock star,’ and for whatever reason, she’s decided not to do that this time. She’s rolling it out softly… she’s talking to individual voters, and she’s taking a low-key very approachable tone to her campaign.”
Willman too saw the change in her campaigning.
“Honestly, I thought it was thought provoking,” Willman said. “It showed her change in race. With this, what we’re seeing is she’s focusing on every day Americans. Its shows the democratic values of ‘respect people whoever they are and being inclusive.’”
As for whether or not Clinton will be our first women president, many are torn.
“There aren’t a lot of people who have mixed feelings about Hillary Clinton, people love her or hate her,” Konfrst said. “Except maybe those who haven’t really been paying attention or who are just now getting to know her. Her job is to get to those who haven’t decided and maybe those who aren’t strongly in one camp … Do some really strong rebranding of herself.”
There are others, however, who are hoping for a first in a different way. Maggie Kuckelman, junior accounting and information systems double major, is a Libertarian-Republican and see Libertarianism as a possible future for the United States.
“It definitely gaining momentum, but I don’t see that happening this year … I don’t trust either party, I really don’t,” Kuckelman said. “I think a lot of people are turning away from the two party-system.”
At this point, Clinton has been the only Democratic politician who has announced they will be running for president. She is campaigning against three Republican senators.