College Democrats react to Hillary Clinton running for president


Former U.S. Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the press after attending the annual Women Empowerment Principles event at UN headquarters in New York on Tuesday, March 10, 2015. (Niu Xiaolei/Xinhua/Sipa USA/TNS)

Matt Poe

Kent State College Democrats discussed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s political background and leadership abilities after her announcement to run for the Democratic nominee in 2016.

The former First Lady’s decision, which came via Twitter April 12, was well speculated by people in both political parties, and with the official announcement, she has begun the campaign process in the early stages of the 2016 general election.

“I don’t think anyone was surprised,” said Hana Barkowitz, president of the College Democrats and a freshman public relations major. “It’s nice to finally support her official campaign, and I’m excited to work for the campaign and get her elected.”

Clinton, who also served as a senator from New York from 2001-2009, has a wide range of foreign and domestic political experience, something that College Democrats Vice President Ian Race said he believes will serve her well should she win.

“I like how much political experience she has, and she’s very strong in that sense,” Race, a sophomore journalism major, said. “I love her stance on education and immigration, which are mainstream topics she has been focusing on for a long time and her role as secretary of state has established many foreign connections.”  

Clinton is the only Democrat who has publicly declared her bid, and her opponents may possibly come in the forms of current Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb. As of now, speculation and early polls indicate that Clinton has the best chance for a Democrat to capture the White House.

The Clinton name has been at the forefront of the Democratic Party and politics since the 1990s when Bill Clinton served his terms as president. However, Andrew Ohl, political director of College Democrats, said that it’s not the importance of name recognition, but the candidate’s ability to lead the country that counts.

“In terms of ‘fatigue’ with the names, I think it’s an issue with both parties,” said Ohl, a sophomore history double major. “Regardless of the name or whoever it is, the candidates should be judged purely on merit and their record to serve the country and constituents.”

Regardless of whether Clinton does become the Democratic nominee, the nominee needs to be “thoughtful and forceful,” Ohl said.

“We need someone who can clearly articulate the matters and concerns of the country and can act decisively on those issues,” he said.

Barkowitz said she sees Clinton’s almost four decades in politics as an advantage, not something she should be scrutinized for.

“I think even though her name’s been around a while, she is still a fresh face,” Barkowitz said. “I can’t see anyone being our first woman president other than her.”

Contact Matt Poe at [email protected].