By Emily Lapinski, Staff Writer
With the 2016 presidential election right around the corner, candidates are starting to officially announce if they will be running. These announcements have been coming through the world of tweets, videos and other media platforms. While there are currently three individuals running for the Republican Party, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has jumped ahead as the singular candidate for the Democrats.
The media has singled out Clinton since she ran during the 2008 election. As the first legitimate, contemporary female presidential candidate, her validity has been closely examined. Clinton announced her candidacy via YouTube on April 12. It was not until the very end of the video that Clinton made the announcement about starting her campaign.
Both faculty and students shared their opinions on Clinton and her decision to run for president. Jennifer Dunn, a professor in the Communication Arts & Sciences Department, commented on the gender aspect: “As a woman, I am very excited about the possibilities her candidacy holds for young women today. If you don’t see role models at the highest levels of government, then it is difficult to see yourself ever achieving those same positions. She has the opportunity to provide that model.”
Some students are as optimistic as Dunn is. Sophomore Angie Barnas said: “I believe Hillary would be a good president. She has a tremendous amount of leadership skills being the first lady for eight years as well as being the Secretary of State. She would change things up being the first female president.”
Timothy Milinovich, a professor in the Theology Department, discussed how other candidates were reacting to her decision to run. “Hillary Clinton remains one of the most significant figures in American politics today,” Milinovich said. “The very fact that almost all Republican nominees focused so much on her when she first announced her run only affirms how much of a threat they consider her to be to their own chances of winning the presidency.”
Milinovich also commented on what he considers to be the reality of the race thus far: “At the present time, whether they agree with her or not, whether they like her or not, Democrats and Republicans alike are forced to realize that in the solar system of the 2016 race for president, Hillary Clinton is the sun around which all the other planets orbit. It is not her gender or even her connections that make her this way. It is her success as a public servant in numerous jobs over decades that creates this environment.”
Amy Stearns, a professor in the Psychology Department, commented on some of the things she would like to see Clinton tackle during her campaign. “My heartfelt response is that I really welcome a woman running for president. That being said, just being a woman isn’t enough to earn votes,” she said. “Although I really agree with her views and understand them on many issues, I also have some reservations. When she kicked off her campaign, I wasn’t surprised that she focused on the economy, but having just been the Secretary of State, I thought she would talk a little bit more on foreign policy and world politics. There is a part of me that is skeptical of Hillary’s savvy political strategies and I wonder how much expediency and acceptance play a role in what she is saying.”