Hillary Clinton’s Path to 2016: The Problems She’s Faced on the Way

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Hillary Clinton announced on Sunday that she is running for president in 2016, finally laying to rest months of speculation. Thus far she has dominated the field both within her own party, and across the board, leading against other candidates on both sides of the aisle. Her time since leaving the office of Secretary of State hasn’t all been roses and sunshine though; a number of media cacophonies have broken out over various scandals — some superficial attacks, others more serious. There have also been some positive blips on the timeline to her election decision, indicating her intentions and demonstrating her potential. Let’s take a look at a quick walk through of this timeline to where we stand today.

Clinton’s time as Secretary of State for President Barack Obama brought with it many successes and a strong background of experience working in international affairs. It also brought with it the Benghazi attacks on U.S. citizens, and the subsequent blame and attacks by conservatives who claim the failure of security is to be blamed on Clinton. During her testimony before Congress, she lamented the events and mourned the attack on American diplomats, but said that the failure of security could not be placed on her shoulders as it was not something she personally oversaw, despite arguments from critics to the contrary.

During the tail end of her time on the job, Clinton also faced some health difficulties, which were brought up later on multiple occasions by opponents who believed they might prove problematic for a presidential contender. This argument has, for the time being, largely petered out given her activity over the last year and no subsequent problems coming to light after she left office as Secretary of State and began work toward preparing for a possible run.

Long before Clinton was a clear leader — back when Elizabeth Warren was still receiving a great deal of pressure to run — a grassroots PAC began called Ready For Hillary. The group intended to place pressure on Clinton to run and begin gathering funding for her eventual campaign.

Like many presidential candidates, Clinton wrote a book and toured to promote it. However, this had some unfortunate results for her because of her use of the phrase “dead broke” when describing her family’s finances post-White House. While Democrats usually have the support of lower socioeconomic classes in the United States, many took offense at her own claim to have experienced poverty and financial struggles. The book also dealt with her viewpoint on issues like the Benghazi attacks and her experiences on the job as Secretary of State, as senator, and her time in the White House as First Lady.

Like most presidential hopefuls, Clinton has gone to Iowa. In 2014, she was there discussing the impending birth of her grandchild and briefly touching on a big decision she had yet to make. She plans to make Iowa her first stop after announcing her intent to run.

Perhaps most noisy as of late has been the discussion of Clinton’s email storage and decision to use her own personal email during her time as Secretary of State. This is something that opponents argue allowed her either intentionally or through happy accident to conceal some of the correspondences that should be government record. Clinton says that she turned over all work-related emails, and that while it was more common to have a work specific email, she did nothing to break the rules of the Department at that time.

Following the issue of her email preferences and storage, Clinton also received criticism for donations accepted from foreign countries like Saudi Arabia to the Clinton Foundation. The Foundation does work to help women out of oppression, and some Republicans claimed that by accepting donations from countries with bad records on women’s rights, she was making a mistake and should return the money. Clinton stated that the money was used for the same purpose, regardless of where it came from, and that purpose is to help women who need it.

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