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A student’s guide to the 2016 candidates: Hillary Clinton

Democrat Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the 2016 presidency April 12 via Twitter. Special to the Oracle

“Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion,” Hillary Clinton tweeted April 12 when she officially entered the race for the Democratic Party nomination. 

Since then, she has tried to present herself as the defender of the middle class and underprivileged. But her three-decade political career is both her best argument and her greatest handicap when it comes to convincing the “Everyday Americans” they should vote for her. 

That’s why her electoral platform, especially her economic propositions, is mostly directed toward the middle class’s attention. For example, she engaged herself to relieve taxations from working families and small businesses, and provide a $2,500 tax cut per student attending college in every family, according to her website

She also advanced two political measures that are supposed to reduce the inequality gap. First, she wants to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour all across America. Second, she proposes creating a new 15 percent tax credit for companies that share profits with workers. 

But her term as President Barack Obama’s first secretary of state from 2009 to 2013 could give her the most credibility, both national and international, in part due to the strong positions she holds on several major international issues. 

Since she entered the race for nomination, she never missed an opportunity to distance herself from Obama’s foreign policy, which is the main criticism she has addressed to his 8-year presidency. Even though she voted in favor of the Iran Deal, Clinton repeatedly reaffirmed her concerns with Iran.

“I will not hesitate to take military action if Iran tries to obtain a nuclear weapon” said the former First Lady a few days ago, emphasizing an ease on the tensions that escalated between Israel officials and the current U.S. leaders in the timeframe of the negotiations, according to She is definitely not anti-war, and defends more interventionist positions than Obama’s administration did, according to an article in the Washington Times.

In the case of Syria, she supported the arming of rebel forces against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad.

“I am in the category of people who wanted us to do more,” Clinton said in a press conference on Sept. 9, also criticizing the Obama’s refusal to take action in Ukraine. 

On social issues, however, Obama and Clinton seem to be in an agreement. She said she supports same-sex marriage and wants to “expand opportunities for all Americans,” according to 

On the Black Lives Matter movement, Clinton affirmed during a Facebook Q&A the need to “address the systemic inequities that persist in education, in economic opportunity, in our justice system.”

One of her propositions is to “end the era of mass incarceration,” as she said during a speech at Colombia University in April. During her speech, she also suggested police officers wearing cameras should be “the norm everywhere.” Following the lead of Obama on the matter, she also advocates for a better control over guns registration, and the ban of assault weapons. 

The former senator said she supports Obama’s health care reform, as well, and wants to extend it to every U.S. citizen. She especially favors the contraceptive coverage provided by Obamacare, which is a subject becoming more and more cleaving between Democrats and some Republican candidates who go as far as to question the right of contraception itself after the publication of official records from Planned Parenthood.

“I defend and continue to defend Planned Parenthood because I think that the services that Planned Parenthood provides are broad and necessary for millions of American women,” Clinton said during a rally in Des Moines last week, reminding the crowd of both her pro-abortion rights stance and the diverse services of Planned Parenthood apart from abortion. These services include health services for women, contraception and STI testing. 

Health and abortion are not the only matters she differentiates herself from her Republican competitors by defending totally opposed positions. In regards to immigration, she said she is opposed to what she calls Republicans’ “hostility” toward immigration by praising the introduction of new comprehensive immigration reforms that could lead to laws allowing citizenship. 

“I’m 100 percent behind comprehensive immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN this summer when she was asked to respond to Trump’s proposition of expelling illegal immigrants. “I’m not about to let anybody who can make a contribution to our economy and our society get thrown away.”

After several months campaigning, Clinton is going to face her first major electoral test during the CNN Democratic Primary Debate on Oct. 13. 

The former secretary of state has a lot at stake, as she doesn’t want to relive the 2008 election. For Clinton, the central issue is to finally impose herself as the only possible and legitimate Democratic candidate while contending with the endless email crisis, Benghazi scandal and Joe Biden’s probable candidacy. But most of all, she will have to provide a convincing argument for voters to support her, rather than fellow Democrat Bernie Sanders.