U.S Presidential 2016: An Overview

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The 2009 Presidential declaration of the first African American President coming to power, came with a varied range of expectations, hopes, and excitement and was considered a breakthrough both in United States of America’s political and social history. ]United States of America under Obama, given that he managed to stay in power for two consecutive terms definitely witnessed changes in major spheres affecting the American way of life. Firstly on the domestic front, though Obama was able to thwart the country from submerging further in the 2007-08 financial crisis, it did not lead to overwhelmingly positive results. Under Obama, the expectations of the American middle class suffered a massive setback evident with his tenure ending at a time engulfed by their anger. With falling number of good-paying jobs, rising taxes, skyrocketing electricity prices and the Gini index pointing towards growing inequality under Obama, the task for the democrats to sustain their progressive and liberal image has become a challenge. This anger was evident in the recent Monmouth Poll suggesting that 68% Americans are looking for a change in direction and approach with the 2016 Elections, leading to a source of fear for the Democratic candidates. On the foreign policy front, Obama effectively was able to ‘end two wars’ by withdrawing American troops from the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, however as many critiques claim this withdrawal has done more harm  than good especially in Iraq leading it to become a breeding ground for forces like the ISIS. Moreover, there also have been attempts by Obama at changing the image of a bully that America holds, with its efforts at ending the rhetoric on ‘global war on terror’ being much appreciated.

The 2016 Presidential race characterised by both old and new faces competing for power has been an interesting one to follow. On the Democrats side, the image of their frontrunner, Hillary Clinton as a champion of women and minority rights though gaining prominence is with every passing day being challenged by the increasing popularity of the famous socialist, Bernie Sanders who is seen as a more worthy break from the Obama style. On the other hand, though the Republican side has already managed to attract criticism over the racist remarks that some of its candidates have made during their campaigns, Jeb Bush is coming out as a strong competition, especially on the monetary front and candidates like Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Fiorina are doing sufficiently well in the GOP race.2014 as has been stated by The Atlantic has been a good year for the Republicans, giving them a majority in both houses of Congress for the first time in a decade. Though this can be seen as a positive climate likely to usher in a Republican President especially with the growing anti-incumbency feelings, the fight still lacks clarity and looks largely undecided.

Keeping these trivial issues aside, the greater concern remains that if Hillary Clinton manages to win this term, is United States of America ready for a FGOTUS?

 Antaripa Bharali


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