Democrat Hillary Clinton has made history by becoming the first woman to be nominated for the United States Presidency.
She will be going up against Donald Trump in the race to the White House, but who will win? and what kind of a President will they be?
I’m going to pit them together in a battle of their strengths and weaknesses and let you make your own choice about who would be better; President Trump, or President Clinton?
Hillary Clinton; Strengths
- She’s a very tough cookie: Mrs Clinton has proved over and over again that she is not a woman who can be messed with. She does not quit easily, and has proved that she can take the most severe criticism from her opponents and come back with intelligent and thought out responses. Her stirring speech at a recent rally warned America, and the world about the dangers of giving Donald Trump access to nuclear weapons showed him in a shocking light, and was seemingly proved correct when Trump gave an angry response.
- Political bridge builder: In many of the major states, Mrs Clinton has shown that she is able to win the confidence of a wider range of voters. Unlike her fellow Democrat, Bernie Sanders, she has won the support of many voting groups, rather than just the young, educated section of the electorate, and has established strong loyalties from voters in various groups, including African-American voters.
- She’s a woman: This may seem obvious, but her gender may be a significant contributing factor if she were to win the Presidency. Her election to office would be an incredible milestone in American history as it was when Barack Obama became the first African-American President. She would be an inspiration to millions of women in America and around the world, and it would mean that three of the world’s most powerful democracies would be lead by a woman: United Kingdom, Germany and The United States.
Hillary Clinton; Weaknesses
- Is she to be trusted?: This is the question on the minds of many Americans who felt betrayed and let down by her husband Bill during his term of office in the White House. She will still remain partly in her husband’s shadow as people ask if she will do the same to them as he did in the 1990’s with welfare reform and NAFTA. Although she has contributed to her own un-trustworthiness during her time as Secretary of State when she set up a private server for her emails outside of the official system.
- What is she hiding?: For all her smart, logical and calculated responses and speeches, Mrs Clinton still has a habit of hiding things, rather than being open about them. Particularly with her email set up and the number of different explanations she gave for why she set up her emails outside of the government system. Even if the FBI’s investigation into how she handled her email set-up doesn’t end in charges being filed against her, this could still damage her political credibility.
- She’s not a natural at campaigning: Unlike her Republican rival, Donald Trump, Mrs Clinton hasn’t matched the enthusiasm and passion in her campaign for the Democratic Nomination. In a stark contrast to her husband, she has even admitted that campaigning is not one of her strengths.
Donald J. Trump; Strengths
- He’s a media wizard: Mr Trump certainly has a knack for gaining a lot of attention in the media, and one of his biggest strengths is that he turns this to his advantage. He knows exactly what to say and what to do to keep his name in the headlines for longer, dominating global news debates and discussions in the process.
- He empathises with the anger in the American Public: Sometimes likened to an ‘American Nigel Farage’, Trump knows how to get through to those members of the American public who feel angry at the current political situation. His views on immigration and anti-terrorism have resonated within communities and he is not afraid of telling these voters exactly what they want to hear, even though by doing this, he could potentially damage his credibility if he fails to follow through with these promises if he became President.
- He’s unorthodox: Trump’s views are unusual of that of any ordinary politician. While many of his predecessors would have shied away from causing any controversy, Trump has often shown that he is more than happy to be the centre of attention. His comments regarding abortion, immigration and terrorism would normally be political suicide, that no other politician would dare to say them out loud; but somehow this has worked to his advantage. With so many voters caring so little about the status quo, he has gained their attention just by being totally different to any other Presidential Candidate.
Donald J. Trump; Weaknesses
- Edging on the extreme: Trump’s remarks have demonstrated his willingness to flirt with dangerous extreme views. His hesitance to out rightly condemn the KKK, as well as his comments about women, Islam and immigrants; may directly play into the hands of many voters who share those extreme sexist, xenophobic and nativist opinions. To the point where even his more passionate republican supporters distanced themselves from him; as well as a petition in the UK to ban him entry based on his hateful and xenophobic comments about Muslims that got over half a million signatures.
- Is he dangerous?: Everyone knows that Mr Trump is very sensitive about his hair, but could this aggressive stance (as well as his known unpredictability) be his downfall? If he was to win the Presidency, his erratic and unpredictable behaviour could pose a big security risk; this gives Democrats space to tap into that doubt about how he would handle being the nations commander in chief.
- Lack of basic policy knowledge: During some of the earlier rallies, Trump has displayed his apparent lack of knowledge about the most basic of policy issues. This could be his Achilles’ heel when he goes head to head with Hillary Clinton; who is undeniably more experienced when it comes to politics. His comments about letting Japan and South Korea have Nuclear deterrents against North Korea raised eyebrows, as well as being befuddled when asked about “Brexit” – the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.
As with every politician that has ever lived, both Hillary and Donald have their core strengths and their crucial weaknesses; however, it is how they use these that could shape the face of American history forever. At this time it is too close to call, as anything can happen between now and the US General Election.
What is certain that this campaign will not be without its controversies; as the world waits to see who will take over from Barack Obama as President of the Unites States.