A social media backlash began against Hillary Clinton on Sunday night after the former secretary of state announced her run for the White House.
“#Why Im not voting for Hillary” quickly became the most talked about subject on Twitter in the US in the hours after Mrs Clinton released a video asking for the public’s backing for her 2016 bid to become the America’s first-ever female president.
While many declared their support for the wife of former US president Bill Clinton, a wave of users began using the hashtag giving their reasons for why they would not be voting for the Democratic candidate.
Many criticised her response to the deadly 2012 attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead, including the ambassador, Christopher Stevens.
Sara Teague wrote: #WhyImNotVotingForHillary #Benghazi proved her incompetence and disregard for American lives. Email scandal shows she’s “above the law”
The hastag was started by 19-year-old Markeece Young from North Carolina, who describes himself on his Twitter account as a former Democrat-turned-Conservative.
“Well when I heard Hillary was announcing her campaign on Twitter I came up with the Idea to create #WhyImNotVotingForHillary it’s simple but very powerful,” he wrote. “It was the #1 trending hashtag in America for about 3 hours.”
Four solid reasons #WhyImNotVotingForHillary pic.twitter.com/FUOim4gagK
— Keeping It 100 (@JamesRitch1) April 12, 2015
#WhyImNotVotingForHillary #Benghazi No true American should need anymore reasons than this one. pic.twitter.com/U6Gj2J80CG
— BringBackUS (@BringBackUS) April 12, 2015
Anti-Hillary graffiti also popped up in the New York borough of Brooklyn – where Mrs Clinton’s campaign headquarters will be based.
The street art features portraits of the presidential hopeful alongside phrases including “Dont Say Secretive”,”Don’t Say Entitled”.
Mrs Clinton made waves before she had even taken up residence.
A small group of Haitian protesters – who have accused the Clinton Foundation of stealing money intended for rebuilding their country after the 2010 earthquake – last week gathered outside her building, chanting: “Do we want Clinton for president? Hell no.”
Because of her global profile and the lack of other prominent Democrats in the field, Mrs Clinton enters the race in a position that is perhaps unmatched in modern US presidential politics.
Her tweet announcing her candidacy notched almost 90,000 retweets by the end of the day Sunday, her campaign video more than 1 million views on YouTube, and her Facebook campaign page almost 500,000 likes.
Impressive, marketing strategists say, although she did create one or two chinks for Republicans to chisel at.
Her 138-second campaign video featured everyday Americans amid milestones such as starting a business or having a baby, with Mrs Clinton first appearing a full 90 seconds in. It broke a million views on Facebook by Sunday evening.
“It’s less “me” and more “us,” which I think is very smart,” said Marissa Gluck, a director at marketing firm Huge.
That’s a really “big difference in tone, ego and professionalism compared to rollout videos from Rand Paul and (Ted) Cruz,” said Josh Cook, a former Obama digital director and vice president of digital engagement for the political consulting firm, BerlinRosen, referring to Republican presidential hopefuls.
But Republicans pushed back hard and fast.
Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz of Texas responded to the “ready for Hillary” message in a crudely cut video asking if Americans wanted “a third Obama term.”
Is the world a safer place because Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State? No: http://t.co/LVfxjeUX62 pic.twitter.com/UJQ8Gsa2ro
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) April 12, 2015
A Google search for “Hillary Clinton for President” resulted in an ad for Hillary’s campaign page, but just below it was an ad for “Pledge to Stop Hillary,” a Republican-created petition.