The sight of former president Bill Clinton wiping away tears of joy while standing silently behind his wife as she was making her victory speech in the 2000 Senate elections in New York may appear a little melodramatic for some. However, when one considers the sacrifices and extreme loyalty that Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton has shown to her husband over the previous 26 years, that gesture suddenly makes all the sense in world.
Secretary Clinton’s ascension to Senator, and thereafter, Secretary of State, is not something all that surprising for those that knew her, considering what a gifted child, student and political operative Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton was.
Born in Cook County and raised in suburban Park Ridge just outside of Chicago, Secretary Clinton grew up in a loving middle class family. Her early years were shaped by her Goldwater-Republican Navy veteran and business owner father and his tremendous work ethic, balanced against her mother’s Democratic leanings and harsh childhood.
At an age where young girls and boys were still too preoccupied with watching cartoons on TV, young Hillary was already busy demonstrating her leadership abilities and initiative with backyard carnivals and cookie and food drives for charity. When others her age were engrossed with the challenges of school and growing up, young Hillary was busy with the post-election canvassing of Chicago’s south side for the Republican Party. When children tread lightly around their parents and elders, she was engaged in delightfully spirited political debates with her family during dinner.
Her star continues to shine brightly at Wellesley, where her commencement address drew a seven-minute long standing ovation, and at Yale, where she was paid to intern at Washington every summer. She was already an experienced Democratic aide before even graduating from Yale, and was headhunted to be part of the Watergate impeachment inquiry team counseling House Democrats months after finishing college.
She was never a radical, beatnik or hippie, but neither was she a middle-of-the-road moderate. She is, above all, an idealist – an intelligent, disciplined, driven and practical idealist. Despite her image of a strong and uncompromising woman, people who she’s worked with reveal her to be a polite, considerate, consultative, and perhaps most surprisingly, religious individual. The latter perhaps is due to the influence of her mother and grandmother, both strong-willed Methodist women. She is also an exceptional public speaker, and can speak for an extended period of time without notes – done without pauses and filler syllables.
Over the years, many negative epithets have been used by the press and political opponents to describe her. As many have learned however, pigeonholing or underestimating Secretary Clinton often comes at a great cost.
The key to defeating Secretary Clinton lies in winning over her core support base - women, baby boomers and minorities. Meanwhile, her weakest demographic is the millennials, and this is clearly reflected in her underwhelming support online. And yet, one gets the impression that her opponents simply do not get this very simple equation. Will this prove costly in the end?
With his experience as the managing director of a data collection center, Ed Baker understands how to conduct quality opinion research. He hopes this experience will give him additional insight into the expectations of the electorate while seeking the presidency in 2016 as an independent. A lifelong Oregon resident, Baker started working in market research call centers at the age of fifteen.
His gambling addiction early in life resulted in Baker running afoul of the law. With the help of a gambling counselor, Baker turned his life around. However, his conviction prevented many job opportunities which led to a year of homelessness. He believes his inside knowledge of the criminal justice system will be relatable to many voters with similar experiences.
On the issues, Ed Baker wants to secure the border and American jobs by deporting all illegal aliens. Those who leave voluntarily can apply for re-entry. Baker also supports capital punishment for any who enter illegally.
Dissatisfied with the official reports, Baker wants to reopen the investigation into the September 11 terrorist attacks. He supports capital punishment for anyone involved – including Americans who held or currently hold positions of power. As a proud supporter of America’s military, Baker intends to overhaul the Veterans Administration and provide more resources for veterans and their families.
Baker has called for a reduction of the federal debt by eliminating waste, fraud and abuse while streamlining programs to be more cost-effective. Foreign-aid would be reduced or eliminated to free up money to for domestic purposes.
With his “tough on crime” positions, the independent presidential candidate thinks strong punishment is key to reducing criminal activity and advocates the death penalty for murderers, sexual predators and hardcore drug traffickers. In addition, he supports building more prisons to hold dangerous felons longer. He also supports an overhaul of the CIA due to their “apparent involvement in drug trafficking.”
Ed Baker hopes his lack of political experience will be a positive as poll after poll demonstrates America’s disapproval with the direction of the country currently ran by entrenched politicians. However, a lack of resources and media attention may be too tough for his campaign to overcome.