The whispers get stronger. The rumors fly. The internet posts are getting even more ridiculously speculative. The question remains: Will she or won’t she?
I refer, of course, to the question everyone is asking: Will Hillary Clinton run for President of the United States or not? Is Hillary 2016 going to happen? Unfortunately, I have no insight into what Clinton is thinking right now, especially since she never responded to my text. However, I do know that if she decides to run, she will have an army of women and girls supporting her who are ready for this next step. I campaigned for Clinton for the 2008 election and while I felt a lot of support at the time, it is nothing compared to the palpable and fervent energy in the air already surrounding 2016. Almost every time Clinton comes up in conversation these days around young women, it is completely common to hear “I’ll drop everything if she runs in 2016. Nothing will stop me from working on that campaign.” This type of enamored dedication was missing from her last campaign, and this is precisely why she needs to run.
There are many other reasons why Clinton should go for it. She has the experience to know what works and what doesn’t. She has earned it more than anyone else out there right now. Most recently, she was a fantastic Secretary of State. From establishing diplomatic ties with Burma to supporting crucial air strikes in Libya, and including her constant and unending work to champion and improve the rights of women around the world, Clinton did an extraordinary job. She strove to make sure that the U.S. was engaged throughout the world, and set a strong example herself—she is the only Secretary of State to have ever travelled to over a hundred countries in her tenure.
Clinton was impressive before she was Secretary of State, as well—formidable first lady, exceptional senator, charismatic leader—but it is her tenure as America’s top diplomat that has made people realize how much they both like and respect her. It was an unfortunately common thing to hear during the 2008 campaign that Clinton was simply not as likable as Obama. Even though she stood out incredibly in her own right, she was still associated with her husband. Although Bill Clinton’s record as president was admirable, many saw him as a negative element to her run. Now, times have changed. People are embracing Hillary’s badassitude. Forget Sheryl Sandberg—Clinton’s been leaning in for decades. Women I talk to on Harvard’s campus gush about her role as the ultimate power woman. This type of adoration was missing the first time she ran. She had her dedicated fan base but now it seems as though she is literally a rock star. And in the words of Tina Fey, Bill Clinton is now only exciting because, oh my god, he’s “Hillary Clinton’s husband!” Finally, the spotlight is all hers.
From James Carville’s support of a pro-Hillary Super PAC, “Ready for Hillary,” to the social media fan pages popping up every day, the excitement continues to build. “Ready For Hillary” is a perfect name to describe this movement. The younger generation that I found so hesitant to campaign for Clinton in 2008 has no qualms now—Clinton is suddenly cool. And yet, we must not let this momentum drop. If many members of this country are proclaiming that we are ready for Hillary, then we must prove it. We cannot just say we’ll drop everything to campaign; when the time comes, we must do it. We cannot merely refer to Clinton as a power woman; we must shout it and write it on signs across the country. We must not be afraid to defend her, especially if people insist on criticizing her pantsuits or her makeup. If we are ready for Hillary, then we must be ready to fight against the misogynistic blather that so disfigured the mainstream media last time.
I want an exceptional, innovative president in 2016. For me, this means that I want Hillary Clinton. (The fact that she’s a woman is merely a cherry on top of a delicious cake). For everyone else who feels the same way, when the time comes, let’s not take no for an answer. If we’re ready for Hillary, we need to let her know now.
Isabel H. Evans ’14, a Crimson editorial writer, is an English concentrator in Adams House.
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