Hillary Clinton — “Getting Started” via YouTube


For the longest time ever, no one knew for certain who would be the most likely Democratic Party candidate for the forthcoming Presidential Election of 2016; some whispered that Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State, New York Senator and First Lady, might be planning to do so, but for many months, Clinton neither admitted nor rejected these allegations outright.

However, on April 12th, 2015, Hillary Clinton posted a video on YouTube that finally confirmed the uncertain rumors of her intentions to run for President next year.

“I’m getting ready to do something to,” Hillary declares at almost the end of the two-minute long video, dressed in casual clothing and standing before a typical house in what appears to be an average neighborhood. “I’m running for President.”

Many things about this announcement are very interesting, perhaps even unusual — the first of which is the short length of the video. It runs for a total length of only two minutes and eighteen seconds, comparatively short and concise and to the point instead of being tedious and long and dragged out as some might have expected, thus far more likely to attract more potential views.

What is more, for more than half the video, there is no trace of her extremely familiar voice, and, indeed, Hillary herself does not appear at all until its end, and this in itself is probably neither coincidence nor oversight.

“Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion,” Hillary promises the viewer, looking them directly in the eye, her tone strong and steady, her bearing composed yet confident at the same time. “Because when families are strong, America is strong.”

The first person featured in this “Getting Started” video is a mother whose daughter is about to start kindergarten, then it goes on to show two Hispanic-American brothers who are preparing to start their own business together; a Caucasian mother about to return to employment after five years of raising her children; an African-American man with a pregnant wife who is about to bear their son, an Asian-American female college student who is applying for jobs to gain some crucial experience; two gay lovers about to get married; a little boy excited to be in a school play; an elderly woman planning to retire; a mixed-race couple struggling to renovate their home and control their over-lively dog; and a young white man starting a new career as a blue-collar worker.

Each of them represent a distinct facet of everyday life in the United States, comprising a different thread in the richly woven fabric of the evolving tapestry that makes up American culture, and together, they comprise a human reflection of the uniquely diverse American Dream as it exists today — their greatest hopes and deepest needs: what they have, what they want to have, and what they yet lack despite everything.

Throughout this video, Hillary is able to, on some level at least, tap into the complex and multilayered psyche of this great and ever-growing melting pot, by including herself as one of these average Americans — by standing amongst them and alongside them at the same time, an ardent heroine who is both willing and able to fight for them and the promising futures they hold most dear whenever necessary. She portrays herself as the devoted defender of the American family in all its varied forms, regardless of race, ethnicity and social class — and that renders her political message far more potent than it actually is.

At the end of the day, they are all Americans — and so is she. And she of all people needs them, needs you, truly as much as they need her.

This sincere and simple attempt to connect with ordinary Americans through and with social media is notably in contrast with her more formal and more self-centered announcement in 2007 when she declared her campaign to run for President in the 2008 Election on her official website: “I’m in. And I’m in to win.”

But even so, despite this marked change in her approach, Hillary Clinton nevertheless faces — and will continue to face — considerable opposition in her bid to run for President of the United States. The more than fourteen hundred dislikes to this YouTube video, along with some of the harshly critical comments beneath, may well indicate this. One user comment, receiving nearly five hundred upvotes so far, bluntly states: “She’s not the greatest, but wayyy better than any alternative.” Satirical impersonations of her done by Saturday Night Live, and on the same day her campaign announcement video was released to the public no less, may further serve to stress her possible faults and weaknesses.

Obama, whom Clinton first competed against in 2008 and later served under as Secretary of State, used the keyword “change” to rally massive support and popularity across the nation and far beyond. But has America truly changed under his seven-year tenure as Head of State, and if so, how much, and, even more importantly, ultimately for better or for worse?

These are the essential issues that Hillary will have to inevitably address in her campaign, even as she will be forced to demonstrate whether she is truly a more capable leader in his stead, and in the stead of a Republican President, one able to tackle serious problems regarding economic inequality, rising racial tensions in society, and an increasingly convoluted foreign policy for this nation. And as the first would-be female President for the United States, and still burdened by the controversial legacy of her infamously unfaithful husband, she would also undoubtedly have to face down tremendous judgment from all sides and and live up to serious expectations.

For her part, though, Hillary Clinton seems to have few qualms as of now, and in a recent personal interview with CNN political correspondent Brianna Keilar, she calmly and boldly asserts: “I’m not running my campaign for the press. I’m running it for voters. I totally respect the press and what the press has to do. But I wanted and was determined to have the time that I needed to actually meet and listen to people….So you know, everything has its own time and I’m on my own rhythm and I feel very good about it.”

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