Student Op-Eds

Ready? Set? Democratic Party Frontrunners for the 2016 Presidential Election

Natalie Young ’16  Inside Politics

Though the start line for the race for 2016 presidential election seems distant, the questions are running rampant: Who will show up? Who is practicing their footing and timing? Who is building their fan base? Who will be our next president?

As displayed by a CNN/ORC poll reviewed last week, while the Republican Party does not have an obvious candidate, the Democratic Party has several frontrunners.

Though Hillary Clinton has not yet committed to the race in 2016, a large portion of the population has committed to voting for her. According to the Washington Post in reference to a poll published last week, Clinton is taking a lead larger than any other recorded by early primary matchups in the past 30 years.

Several possible reasons persist for Clinton’s refusal to run in the race. First, she has already been considered the favorite among her party’s candidates in an election and been denied the nomination. Second, on Election Day in 2016, Clinton would be 69. This is the same age as Ronald Reagan, the oldest president to date. Third, she has spent most of her life in the political spotlight. Being the first woman president would be the climax of the current political life, demanding a similar climax in commitment and ability. She may not be prepared for this undertaking. When Clinton resigned from Secretary of State last year, she told ABC in an interview, “It sounds so simple, but I’ve been, as you know, at the highest level of American and now international activities for twenty years, and I just thought it was time to take a step off…maybe do some reading and writing and speaking and teaching.”

According to CNN, there are other possible candidates for the 2016 presidential election. In an interview with CNN’s “New Day” last week, Joe Biden commented that there was “no obvious reason” he should not run for president. Nevertheless, on Election Day in 2016, Biden would be 73. This would make him the oldest man to run the race, cross the line, and lead the country.

Some other possible candidates include Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New York Senator Kristen Gillibrand, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. However, CNN included a comment from a political strategist experienced with Democratic Party presidential elections which asserted, “The truth is that, if Hillary doesn’t run Biden becomes the class of the field by far. It’s got to be Hillary or Joe or we’re in trouble.”

Conclusively, in the interview, Biden stated, “For me, the decision to run or not run is going to be determined by me, as to whether I am the best-qualified person to focus on the two things I’ve spent my whole life on—giving ordinary people a fightin’ chance to make it and a sound foreign policy that’s based on rational interests in the United States…”

So, which Democratic candidate knows the racetrack best?