Hillary Clinton’s potential presidential run spurs commentary

Hillary Clinton has often inspired global conversation with her actions, whether through her speeches as First Lady, her many pantsuits or the photos in celebrity magazines of suggested “texts” she might be sending. Americans have been especially interested in her activity after she stepped down from her position as Secretary of State last year.

In most recent news, Clinton visited Iowa for the first time since her 2008 caucus loss to our current president, Barack Obama. This has led to a flurry of commentary about the potential for another presidential bid in 2016. Despite the outpouring of public sentiment about whether or not Clinton should have her eyes on the Oval Office, she has publicly maintained a completely neutral stance on the idea. All of this begs the question: why does Clinton want to run for president again?

Whether you agree with Clinton’s political policies and viewpoints or not, she is an undeniably seasoned politician. As a former First Lady, United States senator and our 67th Secretary of State, Clinton has traversed the depths of Washington and come out the other side relatively unscathed. From the impeachment of her husband, Bill Clinton, to the 2012 attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Clinton has endured some of the worst political fights of the past few decades – not to mention the incessant slandering and public criticism that naturally came with her last presidential campaign.

In many ways, Clinton has begun to enjoy a life outside of Washington politics. It has been about a year and a half since she stepped down from her role as Secretary of State in Feb. 2013, and she doesn’t seem the be jumping at the opportunity to get back into the political arena. Honestly, who can blame her?

But Clinton hasn’t completely ruled out a presidential campaign yet. If she had, she would probably laugh off questions pertaining to a 2016 bid, but she hasn’t done that. There is probably still a small part of her that is considering going back to the cruel, unrelenting political arena.

It seems as if Clinton is asking herself whether the best option for the country is to have her as president. The neutrality that she has maintained appears to stem from an internal conflict between her enjoyment of semi-retirement and questioning if the U.S. wants and needs her expertise and talents.

Clinton’s last presidential bid was often described as a desperate attempt to take the White House. People seemed to think that Clinton only wanted to prove that she could do what her husband did before her. She was shown as willing to do anything to become president, and that hurt her image in comparison to Barack Obama, who was portrayed contrastingly as a man concerned for the people.

This is where Hillary’s potential 2016 bid could be different. The effect Hillary has created is that she doesn’t seem to want the Presidency, but will take command if she feels that Americans want her to. It is no longer even about her, as it seemed in 2008; it is about the United States of America. No matter your stance in regards to Hillary Clinton, this is an undeniably huge change in perspective.

Regardless of Clinton’s last run for presidency, if she chooses to run for president in 2016, it is clear that it will be a very different campaign than her previous one. This will no longer be about pride, self-image, or even about the Oval Office; it will simply be about the U.S.

Sage Fulco ’18 fulco1@stolaf.edu is from Wayzata, Minn. He majors in physics.