By Jorge Castorena
Opinion Editor

It’s the start of the new year, and with it come resolutions, new beginnings and expectations of what 2014 will hold.

For the government, 2014 means midterm elections on Nov. 4, when 33 Senate seats will be contested. Perhaps 2014 will hold a new Democratic majority in Congress. 

But in reality, 2014 will not be about the new things the year will bring. No, 2014 will be about 2016, as this year marks the official start of the presidential election season. We’ve already been talking about it because of two now-household names: Hillary and Christie. 

The battle truly begins this year between former First Lady and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. They are both strongly teasing – if not already campaigning – about running for the Oval Office. And they seem to be the odds-on favorites of their respective parties.

Christie came into the national spotlight late last year during his reelection campaign and victory as the 55th governor of New Jersey. Immediately, his name was thrown out as a potential – and extremely viable – candidate for the White House in 2016. 
He’s young, he’s a northerner, he’s energetic and he’s a moderate. He also saved New Jersey’s economy and got the ethnic vote. Perfect. Sign him up because in the current political climate of our increasingly liberal society, Christie is the best shot the Republicans have at winning the presidency in 2016. 

But is he enough?

In a hypothetical race between Clinton and Christie – and dare I say any other Republican candidate – no, the governor is not enough. That’s coming from a registered Republican who voted for Romney and is not a fan of Obama.
The reasons Clinton will likely win have less to do with Christie (or any other opposing Republican) than with her political advantages. 

And there are many of those. To begin with, she is a Democrat, and unless there is radical clean-up and improvement of the Republicans’ image, we aren’t likely to see a Republican president for a while. For that reason alone, any Democrat has the advantage, and because Clinton will likely get the nomination, the odds are ever in her favor.

Clinton was, of course, the First Lady for eight of America’s most prosperous years (or maybe she’s already been president). Before that, she was the First Lady of Arkansas from 1983 to 1992. From 2001 to 2009, she was a United States senator from New York. And, most recently, she was the Secretary of State (2009 to 2013). 

In a nutshell, she has 30 years of impressive experience – at the domestic, state, federal and foreign levels. But apparently, experience isn’t all that matters because three years as a senator from Illinois somehow qualified Barack Obama to be president.

In 2008 and 2012, John McCain and Mitt Romney both received over 50 percent of the older population’s votes (those 45 years of age or older) because older candidates appear more experienced, disciplined and educated. Today, Clinton is 66 years old, and she will use her age to her advantage.

For 2016, Clinton’s gender is equally as important as Obama’s skin tone was in 2008. “The first African American president” was a topic that, during the 2008 election season, was never dropped and greatly helped Obama reach celebrity status. They campaigned with it (“Change we can believe in” wasn’t just about policies), and the question of different election results if Obama were caucasian is one that is still debated. 

So, the “first woman president” is likewise a social movement in the making, and it will get Clinton votes. Expect to hear that phrase over and over again from the campaign and the media beginning, well, yesterday. 

And that’s another thing: the media. In 2008 and 2012, media sided with Obama, which greatly contributed to both of his victories. As we know with cases like A&E’s Phil Robertson and the liberals’ distaste for Fox News, it isn’t very convenient for any forms of media to be conservative. My prediction: TV, magazines, the Internet and Hollywood will endorse Clinton (look closely – they already do).

And if the media is on your side, the odds are most definitely in your favor. Hello, Madame President.