What if Hillary Had Won?
by Aeshna Chandra on Friday, November 2nd, 2012
To say these past four years have been crucial to our development as a nation would be a gross understatement. Clearly, President Obama’s policies have affected the country greatly, for better or for worse. He was chosen as the Democrat nominee in 2008 over Hillary Clinton–but what if she had won the party’s nomination instead? Would a Clinton victory have led to a radically different country in 2012?
As Clinton’s policy proposals in 2008 were similar to Obama’s, her actions regarding legislation would likely have been largely the same. However, Clinton is much more liberal than Obama. She favors minimizing government involvement in personal issues, but increasing it in economic issues. Obama, on the other hand, is closer to being a “Blue Dog” progressive.
Obama’s centrist mindset and willingness to work across the aisle have been important these past few years, as inter-party cooperation has become necessary in Congress’ current divided state. Clinton would likely have been less willing to work across the aisle than the incumbent. That stubbornness could have been a disaster when bipartisanship was necessary.
Second, Clinton’s previous status as one of the most influential lawyers in America could have led to a more aggressive defense of her actions if elected. On the other hand, Obama has been criticized for not standing up for himself enough; for example, in the first presidential debate this year, he was called out for failing to mention his greatest achievements while president. Clinton’s more aggressive tendencies might have affected her relationship with Republicans and Independents when trying to get Democratic policies approved.
Third, a glaring difference in these two candidates is gender. While it may seem to be a non-issue for many, gender today still has a huge impact on our country and world. Clinton would have brought more focus to women’s rights and issues in America, and could have given a more definitive stance to female voters across the country. Many of her personal political stances lean towards giving women more power, more choices, and more equality. So how would that have affected society from 2008 until today?
Clinton’s election in 2008 could have created a much more decisive, liberal-minded, equal America; however, her policies ran the risk of alienating Republicans, a political rift which would have been disastrous in today’s economic and political situation. Although she could have done wonders for the United States, inter-party cooperation is needed now more than ever, and she would not have brought that to the table. It was the right choice voting for Obama in 2008, but if Clinton decides to run in 2016, she would undoubtedly bring great and necessary changes to America.
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