When maverick billionaire and Republican Donald Trump began his US Presidential campaign, very few people gave him any chance of making it to a reasonable distance. When he took the lead, people stared in disbelief and thought that he would slip soon.
Now there’s a real chance that he could actually get the Republican ticket. His chances would increase if the Democratic ticket would go to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, wife of former US President Bill Clinton.
A good chunk of American voters dislike the woman who has too many skeletons in her cupboard to make it to the White House on her own. Hillary is first fighting a tough campaign against Bernie Sanders and if she gets the ticket; may not make it to the top against the likes of Trump.
Here are some of the reasons why…
1. Anti-incumbency: After Obama stormed to two terms, the Democrats have been on the decline and the Republicans have been on the ascendancy capturing a majority in both the Senate and US Congress.
Obama looks is a lame duck President and is a shadow of his former self. If the pro-Republican trend continues and an anti-incumbency trend sets in for the post of President then Hillary will really struggle if she makes it to the final race.
In fact one analyst said that no matter who gets the Republican ticket, currently the Republican voters are so disillusioned and angry that they’ll come out in huge numbers and vote for their party.
2. The likeability factor: At the end of the day the electorate have to like their politicians. That’s where people with tonnes of charisma like Bill and Barack triumphed. Hillary is seen with suspicion by many Americans and most of her spoof and caricatures show her as an evil and cunning personality.
She first got elected to public office as Senator in 2001 when her husband Bill was still President. Can she woo the entire nation on her own? That could be much tougher.
Last time the Republicans opted for Mitt Romney who has as much charisma as a wooden board. That is why despite winning the first Presidential TV debate with Obama, he fell flat on his face. In fact many Republican voters said they would rather stay at home rather than vote for Romney.
A poll just released by Washington Post/ABC News at the beginning of her campaign back showed nearly half of all Americans have an unfavourable view of Hillary.
3. The loser: Very few people can make a comeback after losing in a Presidential election like Richard Nixon. In 2008 forget winning a Presidential contest, she could not even clinch her candidature for Democratic nominee.
2008 will hang around her neck like a millstone.
4. The septuagenarian: If Hillary does make President, she will turn 70 the year she is sworn in in 2017. That will weigh heavily on the mind of the voter. The very fact that she didn’t choose to join President Barack Obama’s second term will go against her.
Only one person made it to the White House at a greater age than Hillary: Ronald Reagan. But then the former Hollywood actor had dollops of charisma to cover up his age, something sorely lacking in Hillary.
5. The Benghazi attack: The 2012 Benghazi attack saw the death of US ambassador Christopher Stevens. The Obama administration received a lot of bad press for that and finally Hillary had to publicly take “responsibility” for the attack.
When Hillary finally briefed Senators over the attack, Republicans blasted it as being worthless and useless. To make matters worse, greater details appeared in US newspapers soon after that. Foreign policy is the cornerstone of any US President and Hillary will feel the heat of Benghazi during campaigning.
6. Dubious donations: Hillary talks of income inequality and high CEO pay and yet charges a whopping $300,000 per speech when she’s on the lecture circuit. One book called Clinton Cash follows her cash trail.
It says that foreign donors have been lining up to donate to her campaign fund in the hope of peddling some influence if and when she becomes President. That includes the Russians too and it remains to be seen how the average American voter will react to that.
SP leader Amar Singh’s name was also thrown in when a report said that his donation to the Clintons paved the way for the Indo-US nuclear deal.
7. The missing emails: As Secretary of State, Hillary did not use the official email ID, but a private server in violation of government guidelines. To make matters worse she deleted more than 30,000 emails.
While she claims that they are private, that wasn’t really her call to make but that of the administration. Hillary supporters are saying it will be neutralized if her main opponent happens to be Republican Jeb Bush as he also used a personal server as Florida Governor.
However Jeb was Governor till 2007 while the National Archives issued a new set of regulations in 2009. Hillary was Secretary of State till 2013.
8. Yoko Ono revelations: This partner of the late John Lennon of the Beatles said that she had a “brief romantic fling” with Hillary in the 1970s. How this will go down with the heavily conservative voters of America also remains to be seen.
Sri Lanka’s Sirimavo Bandaranaike broke the glass ceiling when she became Prime Minister in 1960 and Indira Gandhi of India and Golda Meir of Israel soon followed suit.
Margaret Thatcher broke the glass ceiling in Europe when she became UK Prime Minister in 1979. Australia had Julia Gilliard in 2010.
If Hillary misses the bus this time then God only knows how long America will have to wait to have a woman President!