Sunday, October 11, 2015

Editorial: Why Barack Obama may have made it harder for Hillary to become president

Rarely touch on outright politics on this blog, but with the first democractic debate coming up and people seeing Bernie Sanders as representing the true left, while doubting Hillary's ability to be president and questioning her character, I wondered why Hillary as the potential first female president would have such a hard time. (I know that there is a Republic candidate out there as well, but right now Carly Fiorina is not as close to winning that nomination as Hillary is on the Democratic side).
With many countries having had female leaders and Germany having had Merkel for many year holding the political reign, is it true that the USA is not ready for a female president? Many people thought that a US president had to be white and male until Obama got elected and it seemed as having a non-white president may seem more of a hurdle to overcome than being female.
So why is Hillary still having a hard time convincing people that she is fit to be president? Is the email server on the side and mixing personal and official emails such a dealbreaker? After all, we forgave her husband an affair while in office. One would think that a country now used to a nonwhite president would easily now see a female president as a given.
Yet it seems that Hillary is more tightly watched, heavily criticized than her male counterparts on either side of the aisle. Is it because now that the country has shown its open-mindedness by accepting Barack Obama as a president, it can go back to business as usual and favor the white male candidates? Is the achievement of having accepted a president that did not fit the traditional presidential image enough of an achievement to pad ourselves on the shoulder and settle for the traditional presidential image? To me that almost seems to be the case. Bernie Sanders' donations are made up of very small, but many donors, suggesting that he is somewhat of a populist candidate that represents a grassroots movements. But how about the traditional Democratic donors? There is a movement to nominate Biden, almost begging him to run, despite a clear need for privacy by Biden. So why does the Democratic establishment not settle for Hillary as their candidate and still hold back on donating? Biden, but many accounts an easy target for Republican attacks because of his verbal faux pas tendencies, has not decided to run, has suffered personal tragedies recently that one would expect Democratic supporters respect, and yet we see ads being created inducing him to run, reporters asking constantly about the decision and pundits arguing when is too late to make a decision. There will be five candidates at the Democratic debate, more than enough to show a variety of views and provide opportunity for discussion. While Sanders and Hillary seem at this point the only real candidates with a shot at the nomination, there is no reason to think that a choice of two is not enough. Republicans were criticized for having too many, Democrats it seems want at least one more.
To me, both the Biden join the race campaign and the attacks on Hillary indicate that the Democratic establishment is not ready to accept Hillary as a president. I do not think that this is because she is Hillary because certainly her husband had more issues with character and honesty than she does. I do believe though that after having shown to the world that the USA is ready for a nonwhite president, the Democratic supporters feel they have done enough to show their open-mindedness and prefer to go back to politics as usual and settle for a male white president. Enough with these experiments, we have proven how accepting we are of others, let's settle for the known and not take any risks. In that way, Barack Obama may have made it more difficult for a female president and sadly, looking at the rest of the world, the USA is still lagging in accepting presidents that may not fit the traditional picture.

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