Hillary Clinton delivers first major campaign speech amid trust drop
"America can't succeed unless you succeed, that is why I am running for president of the United States," she told a cheering crowd at New York City’s Roosevelt Island.
"Prosperity just can't be for CEOs and hedge fund managers. Democracy can't be just for billionaires... Prosperity and democracy are part of your basic bargain, too."
As Hillary Clinton hits the campaign road, it is people’s trust – or rather the lack thereof – that is her major roadblock, as polls show most Americans don’t see her as honest and trustworthy.
What’s up with Clinton’s ratings?
The former secretary of state will have to do an outstanding job to get the votes. However, her unfavorable ratings have plummeted to a 7-year low, according to a Washington Post-ABC poll. Now more Americans have an unfavorable view of her than a favorable one.
Yet a more salient metric than favorability may be trustworthiness. According to a CNN/ORC poll last week, 57 percent of Americans think Clinton isn’t honest and trustworthy, up from 49 percent in March.
Allegations of corruption have raised serious doubts about her suitability.
The Clinton Foundation controversies
After the second term of the Bill Clinton presidency came to an end in 2001, the Clinton Foundation was founded as a philanthropic organization. However, it is now an embarrassment for Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
The Clinton Foundation, run by Hillary’s husband and America’s 42nd president, Bill Clinton, received millions of dollars from the same foreign donors for whom the State Department under Hillary Clinton approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales.
“If you want a favor from one of the Clintons, whether it be Bill or Hillary, in one of her positions as senator or secretary of state, what you do is you donate money to the Clinton foundation,” Curtis Ellis, communications director of the American Jobs Alliance, told RT.
“I would describe this as a classic corrupt deal. This is conflict of interest at the highest levels,” Ellis said.
Dodging journalists’ questions did not add to Mrs Clinton’s credibility either.
“We’re back into political season, and therefore we will be subjected to all kinds of destructions and attacks. I’m ready for that,” Clinton answered ABC journalist’s question about whether foreign entities received any kind of special treatment for making donations to the Clinton Foundation.
Hillary’s insecure emails
Last March, it came to light that when she was secretary of state, Clinton conducted all business —public and private — solely through her personal email account, on a server in her house. This puts into serious question the email security of one of the highest-ranking politicians in the United States government.
“I thought it would be easier to just carry one device for my work and for my personal emails instead of two,” she said when asked why she didn’t use separate email accounts for her political life and private life.
Her lawyer, David Kendall, told the House Select Benghazi Committee that the email address in question was “not an address that existed during Secretary Clinton’s tenure.” However, emails obtained by the New York Times show that it was indeed used by her for official State Department business.
Investigating any wrongdoing on her part became that much more difficult after Mrs Clinton deleted thousands of emails, which she had sent as secretary of state.
A question of integrity
Making questionable claims is another bugbear for Clinton. She has been accused of not just sweeping things under the carpet, but also of downright lying.
During her first presidential bid in 2008, she described how she and her daughter Chelsea ran for cover under hostile sniper fire shortly after her plane landed in Tuzla, Bosnia, in 1996.
“I remember landing under sniper fire,” Clinton said, adding that instead of a greeting ceremony, she and her daughter “were basically told to run to our cars with our heads down.”
Unfortunately for Clinton, several news outlets, such as CBS news, which accompanied Hillary and her daughter on that trip to Bosnia, had video footage, showing the Clintons walking from the plane. There was no sign of tension or any danger.
Clinton said she had merely made a mistake when she told the story about the supposed ambush.
"I did make a mistake in talking about it, you know, the last time and recently," Clinton told reporters. She said that she had a "different memory" about her landing.
"So I made a mistake. That happens. It proves I'm human, which, you know, for some people, is a revelation."
This is reminiscent of the recent incident involving NBC anchor Brian Williams, who claimed earlier this year that the helicopter he was flying in was hit by an RPG. Like Clinton, Williams said he had a false memory of the incident. The public didn’t buy it and he has been suspended ever since.
Because of his less-than-honest telling of personal tales, Williams’ career is probably over. Clinton enjoyed a different fate – she was appointed secretary of state when President Obama took office in 2009.
Foreign policy record
Hillary Clinton is expected to appear more presidential in the race due to her foreign policy record, but some of those policies too have landed her in trouble.
A year after Hillary Clinton cheered the death of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, with the infamous “We came, we saw, he died” statement made in 2011, Libya was engulfed in chaos, and four Americans, including the US ambassador to Libya, were killed in Benghazi.
Her response to a question about what led to the attacks went viral.
“What difference does it make at this point?” said Clinton. “It’s our job to find out what happened,” she said.
When Barack Obama entered the White House seven years ago, his team promised to bring change to international politics. And Hillary Clinton, who then held the top diplomatic job, was tasked with clearing the skies with Moscow and resetting the relations with Russia.
But last year, Hillary compared Russian President Vladimir Putin with Adolf Hitler when talking about Moscow's alleged aggression in Ukraine.
Republican presidential candidate and Kentucky State Senator Rand Paul gave a keynote speech in Los Angeles, Friday, were he said that, for her past foreign policy failures, Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton "should be forever precluded from being commander-in-chief" of the United States.
Robert Emmett Tyrrell Jr., editor-in-chief of the American Spectator magazine, believes foreign policy is partly why Hillary Clinton won't become President.
“Foreign policy is the first grounds to consider her to miss-on,” Tyrrell said, stressing that Clinton’s “hanging around with the elites” is now a “matter of the public record,” making her a “pretty poor champion for the middle class.”
The Hillary Clinton campaign had a rough start, but her campaign’s largest obstacles seem to be in front of her, coming in the form of indistinct policy stances and scandals that continue to weigh down her momentum and popularity.