In case you somehow haven't heard the news by now, Hillary Clinton is expected to announce her presidential campaign on Sunday morning, with a casual tweet and a video presentation on social media. The announcement, which will finally end speculation over Clinton's intentions following her failed presidential bid in 2008, is expected to drop just before noon, Eastern time. The presidential hopeful's campaign website should launch at the same time. The planned announcement may sound low-key — a tweet, alongside simultaneous video and email messages— but don't be fooled: the frenzied anticipation of the Clinton campaign kick-off, evidenced in #HillarysBigAnnouncement, is anything but casual.
For a while now, Politico reports, Democrats have been somewhat frustrated by Clinton's unofficial and extended lead-up to the presidential campaign proper: she's travelled the country, giving speeches, and supporting other Democrats, but is only now announcing her candidacy. “For months I’ve been getting calls from people who donate good money, asking when are we having an event, who are we writing a check to,” Jay Jacobs, a Clinton fundraiser, told the publication. “It’s completely topsy-turvy. The groundswell has been percolating for so long. This thing had to get going, I can’t imagine we could have waited much longer. I can’t tell you how many phone calls I get with people chomping at the bit.”
All those bit-chompers? They're on Twitter, along with Clinton's detractors. And they're all EXCITED. #hillarysbigannouncement is currently trending on the social media platform. So we combed the feed, looking for comments from people who are just itching for Hillary to get going and others who really would rather she didn't.
As one might expect, given that Clinton could become the first female president of the United States, discussion of her gender featured prominently. Starting off on a less-than-positive note, plenty of Twitter users anticipated misogynist backlash against the Clinton campaign, at a time when (despite feminism's supposed rise), 82 percent of Americans still don't consider themselves feminists.
Meanwhile, others used the hashtag to point out that Clinton's gender shouldn't guarantee her the presidency.
While others pointed out that, actually, a female contender was kinda a big deal.
One user characterized Clinton's supporters as zombies / hypnotized blonde children, mindlessly following a candidate who many assume will inevitably be the Democratic pick.
The fact that Clinton is essentially facing no viable Democratic challengers at this stage was noted by others, and cast as a point of weakness for the party.
Several users indicated that their choice was, indeed, already made.
Other tweets outlined specific objections to Clinton's campaign, drawing on Clinton's record as senator and secretary of state. Several, in a glimpse at what the upcoming campaign battle could bring, dredged up old scandals. Some pointed to the air of elitism, which may prove problematic for Clinton on the campaign trail.
But others were more upbeat, expressing hope at what a Clinton presidency could bring.
Other tweets expressed more interested in her sartorial choices than her political potential.
While still more bemoaned her chosen announcement method. One user called, quixotically, for a mixtape.
Interestingly enough, people using the hashtag un-ironically to joyously proclaim Clinton's nascent campaign and potential presidency appeared, after a quick scan, in the minority — seemingly outnumbered by detractors who hijacked the hashtag for satirical (and sartorial!) fun. But the fans were there, too, earnestly pressing the refresh button and quietly tweeting their fervor.
But all publicity is good publicity right? And considering that the forthcoming "Big Announcement" is really a reiteration of something everyone has known, albeit covertly, for months (if not years), then the furore over Sunday's upcoming tweet (it's 140 characters people!) is really yet another indication that Clinton is almost impossibly far ahead of any of her potential Democratic challengers — none of whom have yet to own up to their ambitions and officially announce a presidential campaign.
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