All of these aides boast a wide range of experiences in Democratic politics. Finney, for example, served as Deputy Press Secretary to Clinton when she was First Lady, after working on Bill Clinton’s 1992 campaign. Finney was a traveling press secretary on Hillary Clinton’s 2000 senate campaign and Communications Director at the Democratic National Committee from 2005-2009.
Are African American strategists already having an early impact on Clinton’s thinking? On Sunday, Clinton tweeted: “Praying for #WalterScott‘s family. Heartbreaking & too familiar. We can do better – rebuild trust, reform justice system, respect all lives.”
Walter Scott, 50, was shot and killed on April 4 by a white police officer Michael Slager, in North Charleston, South Carolina. Slager, 33, has been fired and charged with murder. Slager said he ‘feared for his life’ but a video shows Slager chasing Scott and shooting him five times in the back.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s African-American strategists will undoubtedly work to rally the faithful who would like to see Clinton make history as America’s first woman President. But they will also work to court those Black voters who are still angry over Bill Clinton’s incendiary remarks during the 2008 presidential election where he characterized Obama’s candidacy as “the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.”
Bill Clinton later explained that his remarks were directed only at Obama’s views on war, not about his overall bid for the White House. But Clinton’s remarks caused a national firestorm – and a split – in the Black community with many black voters shifting their allegiance to Obama.
The Clinton campaign even urged prominent African-American supporters to speak out on their behalf and remind the public of the long Clinton record of working for civil rights and social justice.
Today, there are some African-American voters who have still not forgiven Bill Clinton for his remarks because many feel Clinton was intentionally disrespectful to Obama because he’s Black.
William Murrain, an Atlanta attorney and a former civil rights lawyer, said Hillary Clinton must discuss political and social concerns expressed by African-Americans, like the Walter Scott shooting and the troubling pattern of Black men being killed by police at an alarming rate.
“If Hillary Clinton takes the Black vote for granted, she will lose,” Murrain said.
In Clinton’s video announcement, she positioned herself as an alternative to the Republican field expected to include former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
On the Democratic side, there are several potential Democrats who could challenge Clinton, although none of them are expected to give her much of a fight. Former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley, former Virginia senator Jim Webb, and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders are three politicians that pundits say are interested in running for president.
Clinton is a formidable woman, a polarizing personality, and a dynamic candidate who could very well become the first female President of the United States. It won’t be an easy path to the White House for Clinton and she will certainly need unwavering support from Black voters to make history.
What do you think?
Hillary Clinton Declares Candidacy: Will Black Voters Help Her White House Bid? was originally published on blackamericaweb.com