It's been expected for months, but Hillary Clinton's run for president was officially announced on Sunday. The former Secretary of State, U.S. senator, and first lady is praised as a feminist champion for women's rights and equality, but there are a few things to consider before fully jumping on the Clinton bandwagon. Don't get me wrong, I'm a fan of Clinton (she's from my home state, after all), but it's important to fully understand a candidate before electing them into the most powerful office in the country.
Every feminist in America would love to see a female president of the United States, and there are countless reasons why America needs more women in power, but it needs to be the right woman for the job. There's a lot of pressure associated with being the first female anything, let alone the highest ranking person in the U.S. Clinton should be treated like any other candidate (that's what equality means anyways, right?) and examined for her strengths and weaknesses. While women across the country are already putting Hillary 2016 signs in their yards and pins on their shirts, there are a few things to keep in mind about the presidential candidate. These might not necessarily be reasons to not vote for Clinton, but they are important aspects of her career to keep in mind when evaluating what her election would mean for women in America.
Clinton Political Dynasty
Family political dynasties are nothing new, even in America. Families with strong political ties, prestige, and money inevitably do well in elections, but they're problematic for the American democratic dream that anybody can be president and the person elected should be the best for the job and the country. The Clintons have already established themselves as a political dynasty, as Hillary has held high-level political offices, but her becoming president would take their clout to the next level. She's not the only presidential hopeful with this problem either. Although he hasn't officially announced his campaign yet, Jeb Bush is "exploring" a run for president, and already has two former presidents in his immediate family.
Clinton has always been a feminist advocate for gender equality and empowering women, but her take on feminism is pretty specific when it comes to women's careers. When under fire for pursuing her career in 1992, Clinton said that she wouldn't be "some little woman standing by my husband like Tammy Wynette" in an interview on 60 Minutes. "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and had teas, but what I decided to do was fulfill my profession, which I entered before my husband was in public life," she said. Clinton was clearly standing up for herself, but did she diss stay-at-home moms in the process? If president, she needs to understand and advocate for all American women and their freedom to dictate their own life choices.
Defended an Alleged Rapist
In 1975, when she was 27, Clinton represented Thomas Alfred Taylor, a 41-year-old man charged with raping a 12-year-old girl, in an Arkansas court. In her autobiography Living History, Clinton wrote that she was appointed to the case by a criminal court judge and that she couldn't refuse it, but in audio recordings from the case, Clinton says a prosecutor asked her to take in as a favor to him, according to ABC News. Clinton got him a lesser charge of unlawful fondling of a minor under the age of 14, which came with one year in jail and four years probation. In Living History, Clinton said at first she "didn't feel comfortable" with the case, but realized that as an attorney, she had "an ethical and legal obligation to defend him to the fullest extent of the law."
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