The Strategist

Hillary Clinton refuses to run for president. Who will challenge Trump?

03/07/2019 - 10:22

Mrs. Clinton has been expected to compete for the presidency since in the 2016 elections. She herself gave a lot of reasons to think so. Hillary Clinton actively criticized Trump and held events that could be interpreted as preparation for the election campaign. Finally, her rating remained high enough. For 17 consecutive years, she has been a woman whom the Americans admired, according to the annual Gallup poll. She lost the first place to Michelle Obama only at the end of 2018. It was then that the first signs appeared that Clinton would not be a Democratic candidate in the 2020 elections.

Marc Nozell
Marc Nozell
And she herself finally admitted it. In an interview with CNN, Clinton said that she would not stand as a candidate. She said that the role of a public figure, a writer and grandmother is quite enough: her daughter Chelsea is pregnant and is expecting a third child. Thus, the appearance of a new president with the last name Clinton is being postponed (or canceled altogether). 

There is no monarchy in the US. But there are political dynasties from which heads of state and high officials come out: Roosevelt, Bush, unfortunate Kennedy. At the same time, the top of power is consistently sought by their representatives in the male line. There were no cases when President’s wife also succeeded to take the position. And there’s been no female Presidents either. Meanwhile, the time for such an innovation has long come.

Democratic supporter and a critic of Trump, economist Paul Krugman notes that Trump misunderstands America. The USA is no longer the land of white Rednecks from small towns. The country’s political life pulses in the big metropolitan areas of California and New England. Now the most popular ideas are liberal, somehow leftist. The new America is not keen to fight immigrants, cut back on the poor, dislike all sorts of minorities and believe that the role of government in foreign policy should be to protect the country from foreign freeloaders (but this is the set of ideas that Trump won over). This explains success of candidates supported by young voters in megacities. Of course, the most striking example is Bernie Sanders. In essence, it is a person of socialist convictions in a country where the word “socialism” has traditionally been considered akin to swearing. However, Sanders gained considerable popularity. And Clinton won the 2016 presidential election due to the fact that the political preferences of Americans are slowly but changing. It’s not a mistype: she won by gaining a few million more votes than Trump. Current president got into the White House only thanks to the archaic system for determining the winner through electoral votes.

Trump understood this perfectly well and must have been afraid to cross roads with Clinton again. In his twitter, however, he put on a brave face and even called his former rival "the best option" for him in the 2020 election.

It is possible that Clinton was not being cunning, saying that she did not want to run for presidency simply because she did not want to. Maybe she believes that she would not be able to do it: after all, she will soon turn 73 years old. However, Trump, who is clearly about to be re-elected, is already 72 years old, and Sanders, who intends to run for office in 2020, is generally 77 years old. It’s time for old men in American politics, even if they are oriented towards supporting young people. But Clinton can already afford not to be in trend.

Now the question is who will become the rival of Trump. The choice is wide. In addition to the same Sanders candidate who will support the primaries (they will end with a party congress in July 2020, where it will be decided who will represent the party in the November election), there are former Vice President Joe Biden, Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, Barack Obama's associate Julian Castro. All of these people, with the exception of the more radical Sanders, profess, in general, a set of ideas similar to those that Clinton declared. However, not all of them have enough charisma and experience to become an uncomfortable opponent for Trump. Success for a democratic candidate, even in the presence of a large number of those who are dissatisfied with the current president, is not guaranteed. Unless, of course, Trump reaches these elections, and will not be impeached, which would put an end to his political career.