WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been making headlines across the country for weeks now garnering attention for her cross-country book tour and speaking engagements.
Her numerous public appearances have significantly increased the speculation on if she will take another shot at the White House in 2016. Experts explain that the recent influx of public appearances Clinton has made could possibly cause voters to search for other potential candidates.
Dr. Jeffrey Hill, a professor and chair of the Political Science Department at Northeastern Illinois University, said that it is to be expected for people to be looking for other candidates to step up to the plate.
“Will people be looking for other candidates? Yes, but that is to be expected,” Hill told CBSDC. “I do not think people will be tired with hearing about her. Rather, I think many people have already made up their minds. Some people will want her to get the nomination and some people will be looking for someone to stop her. I think this was going to happen anyway. The recent attention only means it may happen sooner.”
Hill, who is an expert in American politics and public administration, noted that her book tour doesn’t have anything to do with the attention she has been getting recently because everyone has always been watching her.
“Hillary Clinton has some strong supporters and some strong opponents,” Hill stated. “This has always been the case. And she has been getting steady attention for the past several years, regardless of what she does or does not do. The book tour does not change this.”
In fact, Hill explained that Clinton’s book tour is indeed a way for her to make money, but it is also proving to help her in another way.
“The book tour is an attempt to polish her campaign skills, while at the same time talking about her political skills as secretary of state,” Hill said. “It seems like a perfect opportunity and is the kind of thing potential candidates do. Most of the time they can do these things without huge amounts of publicity. This is where they learn and practice campaign skills. Clinton does not have this luxury. She will get publicity whatever she does, so she does not have the opportunity to get in shape for the campaign. Any mistakes she makes get noticed immediately.”
Chris Akins, a campaign strategist and founder of Akins Campaign Strategy, explained that the former first lady has had numerous mistakes which have garnered the media’s attention.
“Hillary, with everything working her favor, has had various missteps,” Akins told CBSDC. “From saying they were dead broke when leaving the White House, that they’re not truly well-off, or, as during the Benghazi hearings that ‘What difference does it make.’ The statements strain credulity and repeated gaffes will call into question her sincerity.”
Akins noted that the amount of money she received for her book advance also doesn’t help her when she is speaking about the amount of money she has.
“Her book advance alone of $14 million is more money than most people see in their lifetimes,” Akins added. “Voters know the Clintons have money and it’s not an issue. If you keep trying to pretend you don’t have money when everyone knows you do, it just makes people question your sincerity and credibility. There’s other ways to connect with people than pretending to be poor, which to me, is an insult to voters.”
Dr. Larry J. Sabato, the director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, added that she could be perceived as “out of touch” with her recent comments about lack of wealth.
“Secretary Clinton doesn’t make many gaffes but when she does, they can be doozies,” Sabato told CBSDC. “Her comments on her supposed lack of wealth were eye-popping. Now she has to worry about the ‘out of touch’ theme, and must avoid doing or saying things that reinforce it.”
Akins stated that voters will be fatigued if Clinton is “overexposed.”
“Voters will only be fatigued if she’s overexposed in the sense of being everywhere and all the time,” Akins shared. “Right now she’s putting herself out there to make it known she’s running, but we haven’t even had midterms yet. Due to the permanent campaign nature though, she has to get out early and try to clear the field to make campaigning easier after midterms. She can also parlay that into helping Democrats who are in trouble to call in those favors later.”
Sabato added that Democrats don’t seem to be bothered by all of the attention she is getting.
“So far at least, Democrats don’t seem at all bothered by the daily drumbeat of news about Hillary,” Sabato said. “But the Iowa caucus is a year-and-a-half away.”
Sabato stated that there are other factors that could work against her in 2016 if she decides to run for office.
“President Obama’s job approval is critical to Hillary’s success in 2016,” Sabato explained. “If he is unpopular then, her task becomes very difficult. Politics requires that you peak at the right time.”