Clinton predicted to secure nomination

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton on the debate stage on Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2015, in Las Vegas.

Hillary Clinton, whether you like her or not, is a strong candidate for the office of President of the United States.

She has the personality and infrastructure to go all the way. The Hillary campaign has experience and something only Jeb Bush can claim: a former president in the family. The competition between Bernie Sanders and Clinton appears like child’s play compared to the civil war going on in the Republican party.

If she is the Democratic nominee, Clinton will be in a stronger position than her Republican competitor.

First, let’s start with experience. Hillary Clinton is not a political newcomer. She was the first lady for eight years. She got to experience life in the White House and see the triumphs and tribulations associated with the office of the presidency.

After eight years in the White House, Hillary Clinton was elected to be a U.S. Senator. After a term in the senate, Clinton made her first run for the presidency in 2008. Although she failed to clinch the nomination, Clinton had kept the race going until the last primaries in June.

President Barack Obama selected Clinton to the position of Secretary of State. In the early days of the United States, Secretary of State was a stepping stone to the presidency, as displayed by Presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, John Quincy Adams and Martin Van Buren. In comparison to other presidents, Clinton’s experience passes with flying colors.

Second, Clinton has the infrastructure. This is not Clinton’s first rodeo. She knows how the electoral process works and she’s trying to bring her A-game.

To box out any rivals, Clinton has assembled a competent campaign staff and a fundraising infrastructure that makes the Republicans shiver. With a steady stream of cash and superb organizing, the Clinton campaign is ready for an election.

The personality of Clinton helps with electoral chances. She appears as a caring mother and grandmother to many. Back in 2008, she had a shot of whiskey with one of the local mayors in a bar by my house.

Clinton can give off the persona as one of the people. Clinton has a tough and tenacious side. She withstood the witchhunt sham known as the Benghazi Committee with utmost class and tact. Clinton is not someone easily broken or defeated. She will fight on, whether it was on the campaign trail in Indiana in 2008 or in a House Committee room.

Unlike the Republicans, Clinton has a largely unified Democratic party. Many polls place her support in the party over 50 percent, with Sanders coming in around 30 percent.

With only one rival, Clinton can focus on attracting the general electorate. It is the hope of the Clinton campaign that the primary season will be over by February. Even though I am a proud Bernie Sanders supporter, I'd rather have Clinton in the White House over any of the Republican candidates, and I hope Sanders encourages Clinton to incorporate more progressive policies into her platform.

The Republican nominee will face a badly fractured party, with a significant faction not happy with the nominee. Don’t forget about the threat of Donald Trump and a possibility of a third-party Trump run.

Now, you might hear Republicans decry that she is unelectable thanks to Benghazi. First, remember that it was the Republican congress that cut the budget for embassy security.

Second, remember that the ambassador went there without informing the state department.

Third, remember that in 1983, a U.S. barracks was attacked in Lebanon and killed nearly 300 French and American servicemembers. There was no Benghazi-like committee investigation for this.

Lastly, to those that believe that Clinton is unelectable because of Benghazi, remember Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and the other Tea Partiers that almost destroyed the nation’s credit by holding the debt ceiling vote hostage. In my mind, almost tanking the nation’s economy just to prove your ideology is more treasonous and impeachable than using a home server.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. Contact Hunter Balzo at torchnews@valpo.edu.


Just two weeks ago, the campaign for the Democratic nomination saw its first real battle in the first of six democratic debates.

Hillary Clinton, the heir apparent, led second-in-line Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders by as many as 23 percentage points, and the rest of the field by close to 45 percent. Meanwhile, Clinton was yet to testify before the Republican-led House Select Committee on Benghazi and was suffering from an ongoing slide in popularity. Despite what the pre-debate polling gap between Clinton and her fellows might have meant, the past two weeks have been a clear turning point for the party establishment, and by extension, their prize pony.

If the first Democratic debate was any indication, party loyalists and much of the mass media are “ready for Hillary.” In an event marked by awkward pauses and no small portion of empty rhetoric, Clinton was able to successfully work the crowd.

On multiple occasions, Hillary leveraged her gender to both light-hearted laughter and applause. A seasoned politician, she did what so many candidates have failed to do, balance her argumentative approach.

While addressing radical outbursts by Sanders, Clinton portrayed the voice of reason. She didn’t just say finance reform needs to happen, she provided policy suggestions to get it done. Though at times over-rehearsed and perhaps a hair disingenuous, her performance was solid, even if the outcome of the debate is a point of contention among viewers.

Post-debate polling shows viewers thought Sanders won the debate, but pundits across the spectrum credited Clinton with the win. Sanders may have won over the crowd for the moment with his fervent calls to action and uncanny ability to curse in public without repercussion, but like a leadoff double in a postseason slugfest, this excitement may not be that memorable.

Meanwhile, Clinton won, to put it bluntly, by not losing. At this point, the nomination is hers to lose and any candidate, not just Sanders, could capitalize on her implosion.

Less than stellar, her lukewarm performance was enough to force candidates Lincoln Chafee and Jim Webb out of the race. Add to the mix that Vice President Joe Biden has publically announced he will not be running, and the only hurdles in Clinton’s own party are Gov. Martin O’Malley and Sen. Sanders.

For the former Secretary of State, these hurdles are molehills compared to the immediate threat on her right flank. With the investigation of her email scandal still ongoing, Clinton testified before the House Select Committee on Benghazi concerning both emails and the tragedy at the U.S. embassy in Libya.

Clinton was poised and relatively calm throughout, adding to the credibility of claims that she did nothing wrong. That is not to say she did not hit a few snags along the way.

Perhaps the most glaring came when Rep. Susan Brooks presented the committee with two piles of released Clinton emails. The first, from 2011, contained emails sent and received by Clinton about Libya, which included “daily updates, sometimes hourly updates,” whereas the second, from the months leading up to the attack, was conspicuously missing these same detailed reports.

In the end, Clinton’s fate is in the hands of Republicans. If post-debate polls are any indicator, she will stay at the top of the Democratic pack whether she performs well at the upcoming debates or not.

Due to their mutual connection to the Obama White House, it is likely Clinton will only see a spike in popularity after Biden’s commitment to stay out of the race. With the nomination seemingly in reach, Republicans can either beat her in the general election or attempt to build bipartisan pressure to suspend her campaign via committee.

If the past is any indicator, the Clintons can bounce back from scandal and the door on the later Republican strategy is closing fast. If the blood is on her hands and she did in fact have textual relations with that server, and it can’t be proven, Hillary may use the perception of another anti-Clinton “right-wing conspiracy” to catapult her all the way to the White House.

The views expressed are those of the writer and not necessarily those of The Torch. Contact Jacob Schlosser at torchnews@valpo.edu.

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