The front-runner for the 2016 Democratic nomination is Hillary Clinton. Hillary Clinton was born Hillary Diane Rodham on October 26, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois to a middle-class family. Her father, Hugh Rodham, was a manager of a local textile factory and her mother, Dorothy Howell Rodham was a homemaker. Raised in a politically conservative household, she first became interested in politics during the 1960 Presidential Election and canvassed for Republican Presidential candidate Richard Nixon. After graduating from high school and enrolling in Wellesley College in 1965, her views began to shift towards the Democratic party in response to political issues such as the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. She graduated from Wellesley in 1969 with a degree in political science and went on to get her Juris doctorate from Yale University in 1973. While at Yale, Hillary Rodham met Bill Clinton and eventually married him 1975. With Bill Clinton’s subsequent election as the Governor of Arkansas in 1978, Hillary Clinton soon found herself thrust into political life. During Bill Clinton’s time as governor, Hillary Clinton earned a reputation as a staunch advocate for families and children and her efforts at promoting education reform exposed her to public policy procedures for the first time.
After Bill Clinton’s election to the Presidency in 1992, Hillary Clinton sought to establish a reputation as an activist First Lady and supported her husband’s policy positions on health care reform, education reform, and improvements in children’s health. Additionally, Clinton used her role as First Lady to bring attention to the human rights abuses committed against women worldwide and helped to create Vital Voices, an international initiative sponsored by the U.S. to promote the participation of women in the political processes of their countries. It has been argued that Hillary Clinton was the most powerful First Lady since Elanor Roosevelt some 60 years earlier and helped to redefine the traditional role of the First Lady.
In 2000, Hillary Clinton was elected as the US Senator from New York, defeating Republican candidate Rick Lazio by 12%. During her time in the Senate, Clinton sought to establish a positive relationship with Senators from both political parties and emerged as a leader on issues such as the War on Terror, healthcare reform, national security, and improving veterans benefits. In 2007, Clinton announced that she was running for the Democratic nomination, entering into a crowded field featuring candidates such as Barack Obama, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, and Bill Richardson. Despite her initial polling lead, Clinton was defeated by Barack Obama after a relatively long primary season. After his election to the Presidency, Obama appointed Clinton as Secretary of State. In that capacity, Clinton visited some 112 countries and promoted the overall foreign policy goals of the Obama administration. Additionally, her raising attention to issues such as women’s rights and global poverty has led historians to consider her to be one of the most significant Secretary of State in American history.
In 2015, Hillary Clinton announced that she would seek the Democratic nomination for the second time and faced off against Senator Bernie Sanders. After a relatively close primary election, Clinton emerged victorious in June of 2016. For her running-mate, Clinton picked Virginia Senator Tim Kaine. In recent polling, the Clinton-Kaine ticket leads the Republican ticket of Donald Trump-Mike Pence by an average of 7-10 percent.
On a number of the most important political issues, Clinton has proposed a series of detailed policy positions that make her stand out when compared to her rivals in the 2016 Presidential race. Additionally, Clinton has shifted position on a number of political issues over the years as her views matured and as new political issues began to emerge. On the other hand, many of her opponents in both political parties accuse her of shifting her position as the overall political trends change. Furthermore, the political positions of Clinton reflect the changing views of the electorate in 2016 and the views of the increased number of millennial voters entering into the political process for the first time.
Here is a list of Clinton’s position on a number of policy issues:
Clinton has proposed an $275 billion economic stimulus plan meant at improving various forms of infrastructure such roads railways, airports, and bridges.
Support increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $12 per hour and feels that individual states should be encouraged to raise it to $15 per hour.
She supports a series of targeted tax credits aimed at helping the middle class, including $1,200 for those caring for a sick or infirmed family member, $2,500 for higher education costs, and a $2,500 credit to help offset the cost of high out-of-pocket health care costs.
Clinton has set a goal for 33 percent of the nation’s electricity to come from renewable resources by 2027 and is opposed to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying that its construction would negatively impact the environment.
On the issue of health care reform, Clinton supports a more pragmatic approach designed to build upon the previous efforts by the Obama Administration.
Clinton has expressed opposition to the single-payer health care plan supported by her rival, Senator Bernie Sanders, arguing that such a plan will not pass if brought up for a vote.
Clinton expressed support for the Common Core education standards and advocates increasing the number of charter schools as a way to create more opportunities for at-risk students.
Clinton sees universal pre-K as a way to increase educational opportunities for children from lower income families and reduce the inequalities within the educational system.
Clinton is opposed to school voucher programs and voted against a proposed school voucher program while in the Senate.
Clinton supports increased federal efforts to fight against discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Clinton also supports stronger gun control measures, and in the Senate voted against measures shielding gun manufacturers from liability for actions taken by their customers.
Clinton is pro-choice on the abortion issue and received a perfect score from the NARAL Pro-Choice America political action committee.
On the issue of NSA surveillance, Clinton has expressed concern over allegations of abuses in the program but has largely avoided making any concrete policy proposals on the issue.
Clinton supports downgrading Marijuana from a Schedule 1 substance to a Schedule 2 substance and supports allowing the use of medical marijuana under certain conditions.
Clinton has pledged to address the underlying problems that result in racial inequality and recognises that solving such matters will break down barriers and create a ladder of opportunity for all Americans.
Clinton wants to work with Congress to prioritise treatment and rehabilitation for nonviolent drug offenders and supports efforts to end the privatization of the prison system.
Even though she supports the recent deal between the US and Iran over the Iranian nuclear program, Clinton supports stronger efforts to enforce the agreement such as the deployment of additional US military forces to the Persian Gulf.
Clinton also supports increased US involvement in the Syrian Civil war and stronger efforts to fight against terrorist groups such as ISIS.
Clinton supports stronger efforts against Russia’s expansionist efforts in Ukraine and has argued that the primary goal of the Russian intervention in Ukraine is to undermine American power worldwide.
Overall, Hillary Clinton’s rating on a 1-10 Liberal-Conservative Scale would be around a 3. On social issues and certain economic issues, Clinton follows the position that is similar to most members of the Democratic Party. With regards to foreign policy, Clinton has adopted a more moderate position somewhat to the right of President Obama. Additionally, Clinton is somewhat to the right of her primary rival Bernie Sanders and favors a much more gradual approach when addressing issues such as healthcare reform and taxation policy.
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