While Hillary Clinton’s announcement last Sunday of her 2016 presidential run may not be particularly surprising, the amount of support she’s already gathered is. Even key figures on the opposite side of the aisle are coming out in favor of Clinton as president, including former general and current KKR Global Institute Chairman David Petraeus.
“She’d make a tremendous president,” said Petraeus in an interview for the book HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. In particular, he praised her actions as Secretary of State during the 2012 attack on a US facility in Benghazi, Libya. “Like a lot of great leaders, her most impressive qualities were most visible during tough times,” Petraeus said. “In the wake of the Benghazi attacks, for example, she was extraordinarily resolute, determined, and controlled.”
Clinton has a history of stepping up during difficult times. During her husband’s presidency, she became the only First Lady to ever be elected to the US Senate. Subsequently, she traveled the world as the Secretary of State under Barack Obama, who beat her for the Democratic nomination in 2008.
The campaign is likely to start off small but grow to unprecedented heights, with supporters looking to raise as much as $2.5 billion. Experts suggest this is due in part to the chance to make history with the first female President of the United States; however, there is also a lack of truly competitive alternatives—and with a Republican House and Senate already in place, Democrats will be particularly keen to hang onto the White House.
Her platform is likely to focus on the theme of supporting the middle class through economic growth, particularly with wage increases and reduction of income inequality. Experts suggest that Clinton will likely also focus on areas important to women voters, including paid family and medical leave and access to childcare. She may also choose to focus more on her opportunity to make history—as opposed to the 2008 election, when she played down gender and played up a tough exterior.
“Being the first woman to run for President with a real chance of winning, that’s a wild card, but potentially a net positive, particularly for undecided women,” said Scott Keeter, director of survey research at the Pew Research Center.
Clinton will be meeting with voters in Iowa soon and will host a formal kickoff even sometime next month.