Hillary Clinton: "I'm Running For President"

Photo: Rex USA.
It’s finally official: Hillary Clinton’s bid for president is underway.

The former Secretary of State, Senator, First Lady, and 2008 candidate announced the start of her 2016 campaign on Sunday afternoon with a video posted on her campaign website. "Everyday Americans need a champion, and I want to be that champion." Clinton says in the video. "So, you can do more than just get by, you can get ahead, and stay ahead."

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The video shows a montage of Americans talking about the things they're getting ready for — planting a garden for spring, starting a business, re-entering the workforce, retirement. "I'm getting ready to do something too," Clinton says when she appears, "I'm running for president." 

The announcement first came in an email to supporters from top aide John Podesta. "I wanted to make sure you heard it first from me – it's official: Hillary's running for president," he wrote, according to CNBC

When Clinton ran and lost to President Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primaries, she talked about how hard it still is for women in politics. "Although we weren't able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, it's got about 18 million cracks in it," she said in her concession speech.

The announcement isn't exactly a surprise. Virtually everyone on the planet expected Clinton to run again, and supporters have been preparing for a campaign since the last presidential election. A political action committee, Ready for Hillary, was founded by prominent Clinton supporters in early 2013 and raised $9 million last year. 

Politico reported on April 3 that Clinton's campaign had signed a lease on a campaign office in Brooklyn.

Clinton might be the most prepared 2016 candidate, but her path to becoming the first woman elected president isn’t clear yet. Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley are likely competitors for primary season, and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders has been traveling the country and has said he's seriously considering a run as well.

Despite pleas from groups like MoveOn and celebrities such as Mark Ruffalo, Natasha Lyonne, and Kim Gordon, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has said she won’t challenge Clinton as an economically progressive candidate for the White House. 
What else can we expect now that Clinton has officially stepped into the race? The campaign has already had to fend off sexism directed at Clinton, and voters should prepare for many more. When Clinton’s daughter Chelsea gave birth to a daughter in September, some pundits actually wondered whether becoming a grandmother would inspire her to abandon her ambitions. (Of course, no one asked this question of Vice President Joe Biden when he ran in 2008.)
Clinton has been a polarizing figure in America since the early 1990s, when Bill Clinton was  elected. She has been at the center of elaborate conspiracy theories about everything from shady land deals to military attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi. In the weeks before her campaign launched, it came to light that she'd used a personal email on a private server during her years as Secretary of State, prompting accusations of rule-breaking and secrecy.
 
On the Republican side of the 2016 election, no clear front-runner has yet been established. Former Hewlitt-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said in late March that she would almost certainly run, and Sen. Ted Cruz announced his campaign on in late March and Sen. Rand Paul joined him last week. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and at least a half dozen other current and former elected officials have already started their pitches to residents of Iowa and New Hampshire.
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