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News Analysis: Clinton's win not guaranteed despite global celebrity

来源: Xinhua 作者: Matthew Rusling 2015-04-14 16:21:33

  File photo taken on March 10, 2015 shows former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the press after attending the annual Women's Empowerment Principles event at the UN headquarters in New York, United States. Hillary announced her bid for 2016 presidential election on Sunday. (Xinhua/Niu Xiaolei)

  With a globally recognized brand, Hillary Clinton is perhaps the first female presidential candidate in U.S. history who has a serious shot at winning the White House, but it's far from a done deal, analysts said.

  In a nearly three-minute video released Sunday, the former first lady and Secretary of State formally announced her run for the White House in 2016, saying she would be the "champion" of the middle class.

  A worldwide celebrity whose name is recognized from Africa to Asia, Clinton is a superstar at a time when many Republican Party candidates seem unexciting and dull, and many analysts said that puts her in a prime position to clinch the White House in 2016.

  "Hillary Clinton is a global superstar. She is well-known around the world and respected for her leadership skills," Brookings Institution's senior fellow Darrell West told Xinhua.

  "This gives her great currency for the presidential campaign because she is on a first-name basis with world leaders and Hollywood celebrities," he said.

  With the exception of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who has good connections through his family network, Clinton may well tower over the Republican field, as most GOP candidates are not well-known and do not have strong foreign policy credentials. This will give her a substantial advantage over most Republican candidates, analysts said.

  It remains unknown who will grab the GOP nomination, but polls and experts point to Bush, whose campaign will likely be well funded via his connections with two former presidents -- his father, George H.W. Bush, and his brother, George W. Bush.

  Republicans will seek to derail Clinton by sowing a narrative that she is secretive, in light of recent developments involving her use of a private email account to do business as secretary of state, as well as unanswered questions over her handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, that killed a U.S. ambassador.

  "Republicans will attack her on many grounds. But they have to be careful not to be so heavy-handed in their criticisms that they create a backlash that helps her," West said.

  "The GOP field does not have the stature of Mrs. Clinton. Many of them are not well-known and don't have her star power. But Republicans will be well-funded for the general election," West said.

  Still, Clinton is not guaranteed to win so early in the game, and the race is far from a done deal.

  Indeed, Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Xinhua that it is favorability, rather than brand recognition, that is important here, as Clinton's favorability rate is falling in several key U.S. states.

  "You have to understand why she's announcing now instead of June or July, and the reason is her once insurmountable lead in several key battleground states is crumbling," O'Connell said, pointing to the states of Florida, Colorado, Pennsylvania and Iowa, where she is trailing by at least one point in each state.

  "Her biggest problem is that she has a trust deficit -- people are not seeing her as honest and trustworthy," he said.

  Clinton has faced scrutiny in recent months after it was revealed that she solely used a private email account to conduct business during her four-year tenure as secretary of state, and kept a private server at her residence. That sparked a wave of controversy and myriad questions, such as whether she sent any classified information through the account.

  According to a Bloomberg poll published Friday, 53 percent of Democrats and independents said they believed that Clinton "purposefully withheld or deleted some" of her emails.

  "Her jumping in now as opposed to later should be seen as a sign of desperation and announcing out of weakness," O'Connell said. "She has to find a way to soften herself up."


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