Sunday, April 12, 2015

Getting Started: Asians rally around Hillary Clinton candidacy for President

NO BIG SURPRISE, but Hillary Clinton announced today she is running for President of the United States. Rumors of her candidacy for President have been floating about for over a year so it is also no big surprise that her campaign has already started courting Asian American voters.

Clinton's candidacy was announced officially over YouTube as all the wannabe presidential candidates have been using the new technology to show their connectivity with the younger 
generation of voters and to demonstrate that they are not tied to old way of doing things.

Her YouTube video makes an appeal to everyday working Americans and their families, and uses the moment to show Clinton as a defender of those without influence, money, or power. That's most of us, eh?

The video wasn't quite the first official confirmation of Clinton's campaign — an email sent earlier Sunday by an aide to past donors from the 2008 campaign made the presidential run official. But the YouTube video is the public-facing announcement. 

Today's new media will play a bigger role in the campaigns than it did in 2012 and 2008, Last week, Clinton was able to bring senior Google exec Stephanie Hannon into her campaign to become its chief tech officer.

Clinton most likely will be treated as an incumbent in this race since no other Democratic challenger has declared. The most popular, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-MA, has said she will not run. 
Hillary Clinton

President Obama has already stated that Clinton, his former Secretary of State, would make a fine president. His early support of Clinton, seems to dim the chances that Vice President Joe Biden would run in 2016. But you never know about Biden, he seems to enjoy the campaigning as much - or more - than anyone else in the limelight.

“We need Hillary Clinton in the White House,” said Rep. Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus during a rally last month in Los Angeles. “But how are we going to make this happen? We can only make it happen if the grassroots is activated, if the grassroots works hard in every sphere, in every corner of the United States.”

Chu, the first Chinese American elected to Congress, said the Asian American/Pacific Islander community, which is the fastest growing population in the country, can make a critical difference in battleground states.

A National Election Pool survey found that in the 2012 election, 73 percent of AAPI electorate voted for President Barack Obama's re-election.

“I’m pretty sure we’re going to replicate that [type of voting] for Hillary,” said Melissa Ramoso, state chair of the Filipino American Democratic Caucus, adding that progressive Democratic Filipinos are pushing hard to help Clinton and hoping she will run. She told a reporter at that L.A. rally, “Our goal is for her to be supported by both [Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders].”

With over 500 days left before election day, Asian Americans seek to play a bigger role in the 2016 campaigns of all the candidates. 

The impact of Asian American voters though, is mostly viewed through mainstream media and how they paint the community. Let's hope that they've learned a few lessons since 2008 when CNN did this report questioning Asian American support for Obama and Clinton even though polls in California and Hawaii, the two states with the highest number of Asian Americans, showed overwhelming support for the Democratic candidates. 

The report received so much criticism by interviewing (and making fun of) those Asians with heavy accents and the report's initial erroneous premise, the network had to take if off the air.

And in Northern California, Clinton's campaign committee made a major faux pas in 2007 when a Clinton campaign staffer told a local reporter from a San Francisco-based Chinese language daily newspaper that an event wasn't open to "foreign press." Oops!

(Clinton apparently learned from that mistake, holding a special media event for the Asian-American papers in San Francisco and hiring an Asian-American man, Jin Chon, as a press secretary for specialty media.)

It is a long, long road to election day in Nov. 2016 and the journey is one full of pitfalls, mistakes and negative attacks. In this day and age of 24-hour news cycles, instant messaging on social media, nothing is secret or sacred. Sigh!