How did Hillary Clinton get into politics?
Christian Lammert holds the professorship for North American Domestic Policy at the John F. Kennedy Institute for North American Studies at the Free University of Berlin. He received his doctorate from the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. His research interests include the political institutions in North America as well as social and tax policy. He is currently writing on a blog about the US presidential election campaign (www.christianlammert.com/blog).
Hillary Clinton was born Hillary Diane Rodham on October 26, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. She grew up in Park Ride, a suburb of Chicago. Hillary Rodham is the daughter of manufacturer Hugh Rodhams and Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham and has two younger brothers: Hugh Jr. and Anthony. As a young woman, she was actively involved with Republican youth. Inspired by the Chicago speech by Martin Luther King Jr. in July 1966, in which he denounced the profiteering with the underprivileged in the black ghetto of the big city, Clinton became a member of the Democrats in 1968.
Hillary Rodham attended private Wesley College until 1969 and then studied law at Yale Law School, which she graduated with honors in 1973. There she met Bill Clinton. Her career in politics began during this time. In 1971 she came to Washington D.C. to serve in Congress on the subcommittee on U.S. Senator Walter Mondale to work. In the 1972 US presidential election, Clinton was involved in the campaign team of the Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern, who, however, clearly lost the election against the Republican candidate Richard Nixon.
Hillary Rodham returned to science and took a job at the University of Arkansas Law School in Fayetteville, where Bill Clinton was teaching at the time. In 1975 the two married. On February 27, 1980, their daughter Chelsea Victoria was born. Shortly after the wedding, Hillary Clinton returned to politics, serving in Jimmy Carter's presidential campaign in 1976 while her husband Bill Clinton became Attorney General in Arkansas.
A political first ladyHillary Clinton joined Little Rock law firm in 1977, and after winning the presidential election, President Carter appointed her part-time chairman of the legal service. As First Lady in Arkansas, she also chaired the Educational Standards Committee from 1979 to 1992, founded the Children's and Family Lawyers Association, and served on the board of directors of the Children's Hospital. In 1988 and 1991 she listed the National Law Journal as one of the 100 Most Influential Lawyers in the United States.
In the presidential election campaign in 1992 Hillary Clinton actively and publicly supported her husband Bill and was appointed by him after his election victory in 1993 as chairman of the task force for the reform of the health system. Under her chairmanship, the commission drafted a health reform bill, which, however, was never discussed in Congress.
In 2000, Hillary Clinton first ran for political office for the Senator for New York State, after the former Democratic Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihans announced his withdrawal from the mandate. In the election, Clinton prevailed with 55 percent of the vote over popular Republican Rick Lazio. This made Clinton not only the first female Senator from New York State, but also the first first lady to hold political office. She was also able to win re-election in 2006.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs instead of Oval OfficeIn 2007 Hillary Clinton announced her candidacy for the 2008 presidential election in the Democratic Party. Although she entered the race as the clear favorite, she was defeated by the future President Barack Obama in the primary campaign. Shortly after Obama's inauguration, Hillary Clinton was named Secretary of State on January 21, 2009. During her tenure, she made human and women's rights issues an important part of US foreign policy and played a central role as Secretary of State during the Arab Spring and the military intervention in Libya. After the attacks on the US embassy in Benghazi Libya in September 2012, in which a total of four US citizens, including the US ambassador Christopher Stevens, were killed, the State Department under Hillary Clinton became the target of political investigations. An independent congressional committee concluded that the attack was in part due to managerial and administrative errors in the State Department. Hillary Clinton had to testify before a committee of inquiry of the US House of Representatives on January 23, 2013, where she assumed full responsibility for the attack on the US embassy. On February 1, 2013, shortly after Barack Obama began his second term, she resigned from the post of State Department. She had already announced in 2009 that she would only be available for one term as foreign minister. Your office took over John Kerry.
Presidential campaign, the secondOn April 12, 2015, Hillary Clinton announced that she would run for president of the Democratic Party again. In the following intra-party primary campaign, Clinton was the favorite from the start, but was only just able to prevail against Bernie Sanders, Senator from Vermont. Bernie Sanders successfully mobilized parts of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party who wanted a comprehensive change in the political system and saw in Hillary Clinton only the candidate of the party establishment who stood for a "keep it up" policy. Despite protests from Sander's supporters in the vicinity of the Democratic Party Congress on July 26, 2016, more than 2,381 delegates voted for Clinton and officially nominated her as a presidential candidate.
During the election campaign, Hillary Clinton is largely in a programmatic continuity with Obama's politics, but as a result of the hard-fought primary campaign and the surprising success of Bernie Sanders, she had to move further to the left on some points in order to appeal to and mobilize the progressive supporters of the Democratic Party . In immigration policy, in contrast to Trump, Clinton shows her humanitarian side and wants to promote naturalization and integration. She advocates a case-by-case examination and only wants to deport delinquent immigrants immediately. Here it is programmatically strongly in the tradition of Obama. In terms of economic policy, Clinton is banking on strengthening the unions and wants to increase the minimum wage from the current $ 7.25 to $ 15. Here she has taken over the positions of Sanders from the primary campaign. She also wants to develop and implement a job creation program in the first 100 days of her term of office. In tax policy, small and medium-sized businesses should be relieved and higher incomes should make a greater contribution to financing the tax burden. After the fierce content-related disputes with Bernie Sanders in the primary elections, Clinton now wants to campaign for stronger regulation of Wall Street. Clinton has also become more critical on questions of free trade policy. She is increasingly opposed to the free trade agreements with Pacific riparian states (TPP) currently being negotiated and the free trade agreement with Europe (TTIP), arguing that the Americans would benefit too little or even suffer damage from them. In terms of foreign policy, Clinton stands for a completely different position than Trump. It wants to develop relations with Europe, but at the same time it wants to hold a discussion with its allies about how the burden of global political responsibility can be better distributed. Towards Russia, it stands for a policy of strength. On the question of the fight against terrorism, Clinton calls for stronger action by the USA in the fight against the terrorist militia ISIS, including with military means. Domestically, the fight against terror is to be expanded and the budget for security authorities and secret services increased significantly.
Hillary Clinton was confronted with problems again and again during the election campaign. In May 2016, the State Department criticized Clinton for using a private e-mail server to handle her business e-mail communications during her tenure as Secretary of State. The discovery platform Wikileaks had recently published 30,000 emails from Clinton's archive. The FBI investigated the case in July 2016 but decided not to investigate Hillary Clinton any further as no violations of the law were found. Only the careless handling of sensitive information for national security was criticized. The Ministry of Justice followed suit a short time later. The work of the Clinton Foundation, which the Clintons founded in 2001 after Bill Clinton's second term in office, is also heavily criticized in the election campaign. Donors from the foundation, it is alleged, were offered in return during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, contacts to obtain government contracts.
Hillary Clinton in the pollsAt the start of the current election campaign, Clinton struggled to win over the Democratic Party's traditional coalition of voters. This includes especially African-Americans, Hispanics, women and the young voters. She can now be sure of the support of Latinos / Hispanics and Afro-Americans, as Trump and the Republican Party are currently not eligible for Hispanics due to their position on immigration policy. African-Americans traditionally vote for the Democrats with over 80 percent. According to the latest polls, it could even achieve higher percentages in these two groups of voters than the incumbent President Obama. Even so, polls show that Clinton is one of the least popular politicians to have ever run for the Democratic Party for president. She is considered cold, career-oriented, and inconsiderate. The biggest problem for Clinton is the mobilization of the so-called millennials, i.e. those born after 1980. This group of voters primarily supported Bernie Sanders in the primary campaign and criticized Hillary Clinton as a candidate for the political establishment who does not stand for political change. With women, she was able to gain significantly in surveys as a result of the publication of a video in which Donald Trump expressed himself misogynist and sexist. In contrast, the white working class and parts of the middle class are very skeptical of Clinton. But here it is often perceived as the lesser of two evils compared to Trump. Clinton is currently particularly troubled by white male voters without a college degree, the majority of whom are in favor of Trump.
What happened if? Outlook on the politics of a President ClintonIn view of her election program, it can be assumed that Hillary Clinton would continue Barack Obama's policies as President in key areas. In economic, social and health policy, the ideas of the two are just as closely related as in numerous socio-political issues. Reference should only be made here to same-sex marriage or the right to abortion.
When it comes to foreign policy, journalists and experts often state an attitude that deviates from Obama, especially in the areas of military and security policy. According to this, Clinton, unlike Obama, is said to be more willing to use US troops in the fight against terrorism. In the Obama administration, she has also always advocated a tougher approach in Syria, and always wanted to establish a no-fly zone there. Hillary Clinton also has a more confrontational style of politics towards Russia than President Obama. To what extent their changed position on foreign trade policy will influence a possible Clinton administration remains to be seen. Clinton is traditionally an advocate of free trade policy and was also positive about the currently hotly debated free trade agreements. It was only in the course of the primary campaign that it moved away from this position, largely to include the interests and demands of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party.
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