Indiana Daily Student

COLUMN: “Hard Choices” in 2016

Hillary Clinton finally made things official by announcing she would run for president Sunday.

Her announcement was made in a rather strange manner — instead of holding a press conference like the typical presidential candidate, she released a video to be ?circulated on social media.

So it seems that even from the very beginning, Clinton is trying to cast herself as fresh and “hip” — the kind of president who makes herself accessible to the “everyday Americans” that supposedly appear in the video.

Let’s talk about that video, shall we? Clinton doesn’t appear until about 90 seconds in, an act that makes the video feel like an advertisement for BP. Not exactly the image she should be projecting.

And these “everyday Americans” sure do look pretty white and upper-middle class. There’s a little color thrown in, and the obligatory (white, male) gay couple, but this is in no way representative of the “everyday American.”

All of these Americans in the video are “getting ready” to do something. Then, after their time is up, we get Clinton, who says, “I’m getting ready to do something too. I’m running for president.” She sounds as nonchalant about running for president as I sound when I go to the dentist. She’s equating running for president to planting a garden, and that’s hilarious.

But back to the gay couple. Of course, I know you’re saying that I would want to talk about the gay couple. But I’m getting sick and tired of our rights and lives being used by both Republicans and Democrats as a political football, mentioned only to score points. I’m done with being exploited for branding ?purposes.

Eschewing a formal announcement before the press in favor of a slickly produced video is also alienating. Clinton has long been scrutinized for her standoffishness to the press, and in trying to be with the times she has only ?exacerbated her aura of aloofness. I guess there’s something about associations here. Clinton is associating herself with hardworking, smiling, ethnically “diverse,” everyday Americans to make us think of them when we think of Clinton. But the fact that they are all in this video is the only similarity they have.

Clinton has long been known for her coziness with Wall Street.

This is in opposition to her populist rhetoric of late, which includes support for equal pay for women and raising the minimum wage.

The enthusiastic support — and huge campaign contributions — she garners from Wall Street goes against the prevailing leftist, anti-Big Banks ideology of many Democrats whose votes she must receive to win the nomination.

I went back and watched her announcement that she would run for president in 2008. She didn’t address the press in that one either, but she was alone, on a couch in her home in Washington, D.C.

In a direct address to the camera, she talked about real issues that made up her platform like ending the Iraq War, ending the deficits that threatened Social Security and Medicare and other ?concrete plans.

In the latest announcement, she appeared for less than half its duration and spoke in abstractions. What does “the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top” even mean?

I have no idea. I’ve been thinking about it for a long time now.

I think it’s supposed to mean something vaguely encouraging, but to me, all it means is that we, sadly, should start getting ready for a ?Republican president.

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