Robert Trayham

Robert Trayham

I don’t understand why Hillary Clinton is so silent. She either thinks that the nomination is already hers — a dangerous thing to think; or she is still organizing her presidential campaign team and is unsure about announcing, also a dangerous move. Here’s why: There’s a political message vacuum that Democrats desperately need to void. With President Barack Obama already officially a lame duck in his second term he’s become politically limited in his ability to sway masses of voters. In addition, his base, along with the American people has grown accustomed to him being president and is searching for a candidate that can speak to America’s future and theirs.

Republican presidential hopefuls are already filling the void by talking about what they would do if they were to win the presidency. Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul along with Governors Chris Christie and Scott Walker are touting their executive experience and former Governor Jeb Bush is already on track to raise $100 million. Bottom line: Republicans are already defining themselves and the Democrats are not. By not announcing her candidacy she is not only making Democrats nervous by not announcing early and raising the money to be a formidable force, she is also not defining herself in the same fashion as the Republican candidates.

 Seasoned political operatives will note that Hillary Clinton does need to be defined. She has universal name ID and most people in the country already knows what she stands for having been apart of the national dialogue since 1992 — nearly 23 years ago. I disagree. The Hillary Clinton “brand” is all over the place and some Americans remain confused as not only what she stands for, but also who she is. Is she is the former first lady? Is she a former senator? Is she a former presidential candidate? Is she a former secretary of state? She’s all of them and because of that she needs to remind voters, and in particular that she is fighter interested in championing their beliefs. She also needs to seem interested in running and holding the nation’s top job, and I believe this is why she did not win the Democratic nomination almost eight years ago.

She allowed then Senator Obama to define her in the Democratic primaries, and she has also allowed Republicans to define her during this “silent” period of hers.

From a messaging perspective, it does not make sense and it will be interesting to see when she makes her announcement. To be fair, she has always says that she would make up her mind sometime during the first part of 2015; and technically we are still in that period. In addition, her advisers may argue that the candidates that are currently running for president on the other side is just a side show with no substance and really not contributing to the national debate about immigration, the economy and the threat of terrorism. In other words, Americans are not paying attention right now to those who are running for president.

That may be true, and I have not seen any polling data to support that argument, but I do believe in the age-old communication motto of defining yourself before others define you. Let’s see if Secretary Clinton believes in that too.

Follow Robert Traynham on Twitter @roberttraynham.

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