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Long haul for Hillary

Long haul for Hillary
Highlights

Someone from the crowd called her a ‘bitch’ when she sought the Democratic nomination in 2008. Undeterred, she fought on till she lost to Barack Obama. The trumpet has

Her concern will be myriad domestic issues that divide the people politically, and America’s declining image as a superpower

Someone from the crowd called her a ‘bitch’ when she sought the Democratic nomination in 2008. Undeterred, she fought on till she lost to Barack Obama. The trumpet has been sounded for the next electoral exercise in end-2016 by Hillary Rodham Clinton. After Obama, the first Black president, she aspires to be the first woman president of a vibrant, but traditional America. Will the ‘bitch’ win? Easy, the race has just begun. And it promises to be a long, dirty haul.

Realising that, Hillary has begun on a sober note. The promo video announcing her candidature is impressive. She may project herself as one ready to hear the peoples’ concerns and resolve them, showing a side that is humane and humble. Obama was from outside America’s political elite, a reason why his record at pushing legislation has been poor. By contrast, Hillary is part of the elite, having been wife of Governor Bill Clinton, then entering the White House as the First Lady and being a Senator herself. She has long years of public life – indeed, she is ‘old’ by American political benchmark.

With hubby Bill by her side – her wifely forgiving of his Monica Lewinsky escapades being an old issue that someone could again ratchet up – she can hope to get an easy party nomination. Her being part of the elite should help Hillary tell people that unlike Obama, she can get things done. She has gender on her side, hopefully, with America having more women voters than before.

Her report card is of one who drove the foreign policy, when she had her share of disasters, like irreparably damaging Libya to ensure Gaddafi’s ouster. Her concern will be both, myriad domestic issues that divide the people politically and America’s declining image as a superpower. Her dropping out in Obama’s second term exposed her differences with him, but also showed that she is her own person – one with White House agenda.

To ask if Hillary will be good for India and for the world may be too early. Like Bill who treated the then PM Vajpayee with respect, and helped end sanctions imposed after India tested nuclear, she may be good to India. This is despite a perception among the Narendra Modi acolytes that she had a hand in denying him the US visa after Gujarat violence. Modi himself would not bear that grudge.

For the world, she can pursue Obama’s legacy of completing the drawdown from Afghanistan, tackling China while keeping it ‘surrounded’ by Japan, South Korea and others and, most of all, ending US animosity with Iran and Cuba. Her Republican rivals so far, including Jeb Bush, aspiring to be the third Bush in White House, are all hawks. Perhaps, the world could be a better place to live with a woman in White House.

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