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Hillary Clinton: Profile of unexciting change

By Kamal Tayo Oropo
12 June 2016   |   4:21 am
When in 2007 Mr. Barak Obama emerged as the United States’ National Democratic Party presidential candidate, the world literally stood still to welcome an unprecedented political epoch.
Hillary Clinton . Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

Hillary Clinton . Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

When in 2007 Mr. Barak Obama emerged as the United States’ National Democratic Party presidential candidate, the world literally stood still to welcome an unprecedented political epoch. That change eventually brought into the White House for the first time a Blackman of African descent. Until then, never in the history of American presidential campaign had any Blackman emerged presidential candidate of a major political party.

The world was excited. Even Obama’s political foes stood astonished as to what that meant to the world. Regardless of who succeeds President Obama come November, America has already recorded another fundamental change as former Secretary of State, Mrs. Hilary Rodham Clinton has clinched the Democrat Party’s presidential ticket. But why is the world not excited about the emergence of first female presidential candidate of a major political party in the US history?

While being first female presidential candidate is new, Mrs. Clinton is not. She is wife of former President Bill Clinton, first female senator from New York and former Secretary of State; even as Obama’s toughest challenger in the race to the White House in 2008. Born 69 years ago in Chicago, Hilary, as she’s better known politically, appears to have managed to use every brick and mud thrown at her to build an effective political foundation that is unprecedented by any woman in her country.

The first major test of her will and staying ability was the 1995-96 Monica Lewinsky sex scandal that almost torpedoed the reign of her husband, who she got married to in 1975. Hilary, who had previously been Arkansas first lady for 12 years, showed great tact in handling the very difficult moment the Lewinsky affair represented in 1998. After the evidence of her husband’s encounters with Lewinsky became incontrovertible, Hilary issued a public statement reaffirming her commitment to their marriage. The couple survived the ordeal. While Bill went on to complete his tenure on a high, Hilary continued to build a formidable political career, partly cashing in on her husband’s goodwill and partly enhancing her individual pedigree as an American woman of substance.

Hilary is the only first lady in the American history to seek elective post when she contested for the senate to represent New York in 2000; even though she was not resident of the New York state. But then, she is also the only American first lady to be subpoenaed when faced a federal grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy. However, no charge was brought against her.

Hilary is the only first lady in the American history to seek elective post when she contested for the senate to represent New York in 2000; even though she was not resident of the New York state. But then, she is also the only American first lady to be subpoenaed when faced a federal grand jury in 1996 regarding the Whitewater controversy.

Very active in the senate, Hilary, in the aftermath the September 11 attacks, and barely a year as a senator, voted to approve invasion of Afghanistan. She also voted for what was called the Iraq resolution, a decision, which she was to later say, she regretted. Hilary also voted to hasten the withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, but opposed the Iraq war troop surge of 2007.

In 2001 and 2003, Hilary voted against tax cuts and against the appointment of both John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the US Supreme Court.
In 2006, Mrs. Clinton was re-elected to the senate. When she first ran for the presidency, against Obama, in 2008, Hilary won far more delegates than any previous female candidate.

Of course, the road to American’s top job is not paved with smoothness, as Hilary political aspirations soon entered into bumpy political roads. As the 67th US Secretary of State, between 2009 to 2013, many hold her responsible for some of the lapses of the Obama-led administration’s international engagements. While she angered the Chinese in 2010 over her admission that the Internet is key element of American foreign policy, it is, however, to her credit that there was improved relations with Russia under President Dmitry Medvedev. She also undertook global damage control after Wikileaks released confidential State Department cables, which contained some offensive statements and assessments by US foreign diplomats and security officials.

When the Arab Spring broke, Hilary was one of the major advocates of US military intervention in Libya, a venture that led to Moammer Ghadafi’s death, but has subsequently left Libya as a failed state. Also, Hilary admitted to security lapses regarding the 2012 US embassy attack in Benghazi, Libya. She however, insisted that she had no direct role in consulate security prior to the attack.

Mrs. Clinton has come under serious attacks over her management of official’s emails while she was Secretary of State. Hilary has to explain why she used her personal email accounts when conducting official business. Her use of private messaging system software and a private server allegedly violated State Department protocols and procedures, as well as, federal laws and regulations governing recordkeeping requirements. This remains her major Achilles heels on her way to the November polls.