The U.S. needs a female president

As Secretary of State, Clinton learned to negotiate with foreign leaders.

As Secretary of State, Clinton learned to negotiate with foreign leaders.

As the 2016 presidential race approaches, politicians are starting to place their bids in the hopes of being elected the 46th president of the United States.

Just in the last few weeks, we have seen several contenders enter the race. For the Republican party, there are currently three men competing to be on the ticket: Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Florida Senator Marco Rubio.

As for the Democrats, there appears to be one candidate who has caught everyone’s eye. She’s been the first lady of Arkansas, the first lady of the U.S., a Senator from New York and most recently we knew her as the Secretary of State. You guessed it — the Democratic party favorite is Hillary Clinton.

Looking at the polls, the percentage of Democrats who support Clinton is overwhelming. The Huffington Post reports that 60 percent of Democrats favor Clinton over any other candidate. Vice President Joe Biden and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren are tied for second place with a measly 12 percent each.

This means that there is not going to be much competition between Democratic contenders. The Democratic party will choose nominees to officially support for President and Vice President at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in July of next year.

That means that Clinton has over a year to campaign for a nomination she’s already almost certain to win.

In my opinion, the extensive campaigning of today’s politicians has gotten out of hand. The presidential election of 2008 was held between two new contenders without an incumbent president in the competition, which is similar to the political climate of the 2016 election.

According to the Federal Election Commission, in the 2008 presidential race, John McCain received $84.1 million in public funds for his campaign. Barack Obama received $745.7 million private funds after being the first major party nominee in history who declined to accept public funds.

I find it ridiculous that millions of the nation’s money goes into supporting the self-glorifying campaigns of two individuals. Couldn’t this money be better spent elsewhere?

It’s my sincere hope that Hillary Clinton will follow in President Obama’s footsteps and refuse to accept public funds for her campaign. That way, people will be able to use their money for a useful purpose, such as getting an education, which is something I consider to be an investment in our nation’s economy. It appears that Clinton doesn’t really need the money for her campaign, since she is the clear leader in the Democratic party.

So while it looks to be inevitable that Clinton will be the Democratic candidate in 2016, can she actually win the election and be remembered throughout history as the first female president?

According to a Gallup poll from March, 89 percent of Americans know enough about Clinton to have an opinion of her and 50 percent of the people polled had a positive opinion of her. Comparing that to the 39 percent who did not favor Clinton, I’d say that prospects are looking good for Clinton.

However, we are still a year and a half away from Election Day. That means Clinton and other hopeful candidates will be spending virtually every day for the next 18 months strategizing, flying around the country and making speeches all to ensure that they have your vote on that one fateful November day.

I will be voting for the first time in a presidential election on that day. Although I firmly believe that the time for America to have a female president is long overdue, I do not intend to vote blindly for any candidate.

Hillary Clinton must take some important steps before I can feel certain that she deserves my vote. First of all, she needs to choose an acceptable running mate — a Vice President who easily connects with voters and someone who balances Clinton’s political seniority with fresh ideas and an optimistic attitude.

As excited as I am to cast my vote, there are still months to go on the election campaign timeline. Hillary might be my top choice for the moment, but that could all change at the drop of a press release. Either way, I hope to see the U.S. led by a female commander-in-chief in my lifetime.