January 26, 2013
(CNN) -- There are few certainties in American politics. But you can write it down: If Hillary Clinton wants to be the next nominee of the Democratic Party to be president, the job is hers.
Joe Biden, Andrew Cuomo, Mark Warner, Martin O'Malley and the others in the long list of commander-in-chief wannabes will go about their day jobs for the next couple years, but at the back of their minds will be only one question: Will she or won't she?
Because, as the most popular politician in America -- who also happens to be married to America's most popular ex-president and who has in place a nationwide network of donors, campaign staffers and committed supporters -- Clinton has the power to keep potential rivals from raising money or gaining political traction simply by saying, "I haven't decided what my plans are." She's in control.
That she should be in such a position at this moment is a remarkable achievement and an extraordinary testament to her grit, gifts and track record: She has been the most successful U.S. secretary of state in two decades. That outcome was hardly a foregone conclusion when Barack Obama made the bold decision to pick his former primary rival to assume the oldest and most senior post in the Cabinet.
She had, after all, lost a bruising campaign to him, there was tension between her team and his and no reason to assume the two ex-rivals would work together. She had never run a large organization before. Beyond that, the United States was facing massive crises at home and bewildering complexity abroad. Many of the issues she would be facing would be new to her.
Clinton was so famous already that she could easily be seen to be upstaging the president, something that would have undone her within the administration and made her look bad.
Her tour de force performance this week before Senate and House committees looking into the Benghazi tragedy illustrated how far she has come. In a charged political environment, she commanded the stage and deftly repulsed effort after effort by Republican partisans to shift the focus away from what the lessons of the attacks were and should be, turning aside their theories of conspiracy and devious motives for the missteps surrounding the event. She defended the president and revealed her character by accepting responsibility.
She had already set the stage with her swift embrace of a blue-ribbon investigation into the incident and her acceptance of its recommendations for avoiding such problems in the future. She was helped by the bipartisan recognition of her extraordinary tenure at State; her work ethic, miles traveled and commitment were praised throughout both hearings.
Most importantly, Clinton clearly knew her brief better than any of those questioning her. When Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin attempted to score political points with a cynical line of questioning, she showed her strength and stature as a leader with a direct, unwavering response urging him to focus on the bigger issues at hand.
When Sen. Rand Paul announced that had he been president he would have fired her, her response evinced an understanding of the issues and processes at play; it was evident that only one of the two of them had any chance of occupying the Oval Office in the future. When describing the return of the caskets of the American victims in the Benghazi attack, she showed her humanity. Frequently, she showed the comfort with the setting that comes from her experience not just at State but as a senator.
(More at link):
The thing I liked about her response to Rand Paul was that she just turned away from him and didn't at all rise to the bait. That was impressive.
I don't understand why people keep doing this. Four years is an eternity in politics. Who knows what may happen between now and the 2016 primaries.
I'm no conspiracy theorist, but all this breathless speculation and prediction about Hillary, seven days after the freaking inauguration, smacks of a setup.
Nothing good can come out of making Hillary 2016 sound like an inevitability. I'll contribute what I can afford to her PAC, but no way am I going to act like many did in 2007/2008, and assume she'll be the nominee.
R2, I don't think anyone is making it inevitable yet. The article says IF. Many people are cautioning that we don't know whether she will even run yet.
No one says no to the presidency. If it looks like she has a chance, she is going to take it, even if she has to crawl into the office every day. Anyone else would do the same thing.
And if she can ensure that a Republican does not win, you can bet every Democrat with any political influence will be behind her candidacy.
I don't think there is any other Democrat on the national scene who would be as sure a bet as she is. Maybe someone else will appear in the next three years, but I wouldn't count on it.
I'm a Hillary supporter, but I've always assumed she would not run again in 2016 after it didn't work out in 2008.
And listening to her after the past year, I assumed she was being forthright when she said she was fatigued as Secretary of State and ready to retire.
But when the polls show she is more popular now than in 2008, and when I listen to veteran political reporters like Chris Matthews, Wolf Blitzer and Lawrence O'Donnell all say this week that they think she will run, I'm not sure what to think now.
David Muir) Ms Clinton, do you wish to be president?
Clinton) I've fallen and I can't get up.
It takes a woman to clean this mess up.
I was ready in 2008, R7. I tend to agree with R2, though. I don't like the way the press and some Dems (Pelosi, et al.) are hyping her now after turning their backs on her in 2008. A lot can happen in four years. They're just trying to spin a narrative, I suppose, but it's like they're setting her up for a fall.
This is exactly how she got in trouble the first time. Nothing is guaranteed and there are others out there that will garner support. Not everyone in the Democratic party wants her to be the nominee. Why does the media keep trying to foist her on us?
And if she dusted off her original universal healthcare file folder and jammed it down the collective throat of Congress?
Every one of those old fuckers would shit his pants while stroking out. Boehner would go code terra cotta. Bachman would behead a muslim. Her husband would fuck the corpse.
R9, first of all, Hillary almost won in 2008 - remember that.
Secondly, there may be others who 'garner support', but it will likely be pretty small by comparison. No one else has the name, the machine or the poll numbers to beat the Republicans.
WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton leaves her post as secretary of State next month with a split judgment on her diplomatic career: She's won rave reviews from the American public and the president, but maybe not a prominent place in the diplomatic history books.
Job approval ratings for the former senator and first lady are at stratospheric levels, suggesting that her four years as chief U.S. diplomat could be an important asset if she runs for president in 2016.
But scholars and diplomatic insiders say she has never dominated issues of war and peace in the manner of predecessors Dean Acheson or Henry Kissinger, or laid down an enduring diplomatic doctrine.
Obama praises Hillary Clinton in joint interview on '60 Minutes' Obama praises Hillary Clinton in joint interview on '60 Minutes'
Clinton, grilled on Benghazi attack, cites spreading regional threat Clinton, grilled on Benghazi attack, cites spreading regional threat
Kerry calls for a less militaristic foreign policy Kerry calls for a less militaristic foreign policy
On Benghazi, blame the bureaucracy On Benghazi, blame the bureaucracy
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President Obama has tightly controlled foreign policy in the last four years — more so even than his recent predecessors. Clinton has had a seat at the table on every key issue, officials say, but she did not "own" any of them.
She devoted long hours to signatures issues, including empowerment of women and girls, gay rights, Third World development, health and Internet freedoms. Clinton lent her support to a wide range of new projects and organizations, and she appointed new officials in the State Department to shepherd them. Some of these may eventually have huge effects, but many are at an early stage.
At the same time, the most important and toughest foreign policy issues of the day — Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan-Pakistan, the Arab-Israeli standoff — weren't resolved during the four years. Some grew more intractable. Though none of that may be Clinton's fault, the lack of diplomatic breakthroughs on her watch limits her legacy.
"She's coming away with a stellar reputation that seems to have put her almost above criticism," said Aaron David Miller, a longtime U.S. peace negotiator who is a vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. "But you can't say that she's really led on any of the big issues for this administration or made a major mark on high strategy."
Right now, I'd say she does not want to go near a presidential run; she wants to be ... herself. HOWEVER, Bill absolutely wants back into the White House, and will pummel her with these numbers, "See, the nomination is a lock and the general with those Republicans still crazy shouldn't be too tough."
I hope Hillary runs and is elected, but all of these things were said about Ted Kennedy for years. (Yes, I know the circumstances were not the same but you get the idea).
"Hillary almost won in 2008"
All I know is Biden does not have a chance in hell!
He's goofy and dumb as a box of rocks.
Oh, look for Corey Booker to "rescue" a little white or hispanic girl in the near future.
A lot of people thought she was the inevitable nominee in 2008 too and gave Obama little chance before the primaries began but, look what happened.
In the interview, Clinton brushed aside questions about her future in politics and pronounced her health as good — although she said she had some "lingering effects" from a concussion she suffered in December when she fainted and hit her head after suffering from a virus that left her dehydrated. The concussion led to a blood clot behind her right ear, for which she was hospitalized.
"The doctors tell me that will all recede," she said, referring to the continued symptoms. "And so, thankfully, I'm looking forward to being at full speed."
As secretary of State, Clinton has shared Obama's democratic take on the proper role of American diplomats, believing that the world is no longer a place where a handful of powers can dictate the terms of the world order. Rather, the job of U.S. diplomats is collaborating with dozens of other countries in the "constant gardening and tending" of institutions and projects that advance common goals, the senior State Department official said.
Foreign audiences warmed to this attitude, which they found appealing after eight years of a George W. Bush administration many associated with a go-it-alone approach. As they did, the American image abroad improved.
At the same time, Clinton quickly removed a potential internal stumbling block, insisting on no infighting between her loyalists at the State Department and Obama's team. Former President Bill Clinton's kibitzing on foreign policy never became the problem some had predicted.
A hard worker and team player, Clinton won praise from many in Obama's circle who had initially doubted her.
But as time passed, it became clear that she wouldn't have the lead role on key issues of war and peace.
The only known antidote to presidential fever is embalming fluid.
Clinton's original plan was to have three powerful "special envoys" in charge of key security issues and reporting to her — a flow chart that would have enabled her to tightly control the biggest security issues.
But Richard C. Holbrooke, in charge of the Afghanistan-Pakistan militant threat, was marginalized after clashing with White House officials. Former Senate Majority Leader George J. Mitchell resigned in May 2011 after the painful collapse of the administration's opening Middle East peace initiative; and diplomat Dennis Ross, the envoy for Iran, moved to the White House in June 2009 to better help manage the range of Mideast problems that were bubbling over.
"She was a fully functioning member of the team," said a former administration official, who asked to remain anonymous speaking about a former colleague. "But not a first among equals."
"Hillary almost won in 2008" Yeah, right.
She WON the popular vote in the primaries.
She looks very hagged. She needs to chill out for a few months, take it easy, lose some weight and figure out what to do with her hair if she thinks shes going to run.
[quote]Right now, I'd say she does not want to go near a presidential run; she wants to be ... herself. HOWEVER, Bill absolutely wants back into the White House, and will pummel her with these numbers, "See, the nomination is a lock and the general with those Republicans still crazy shouldn't be too tough."
That's pretty funny. Hillary "wants to be... herself" and somehow that means ambitionless? Before the chance at the most powerful position in the world, teed up such that she could likely win it?
It all comes down to health and energy level. Desire is a given. The Clintons are the ultimate "power couple" - they both score the highest mark possible for intelligence and ambition. Leopards don't change their spots; she will run if she feels she can handle it physiologically. I admire them both for keeping their legacies nearly entirely positive; power and that degree of hunger for it can be quite destructive in people of lesser character. I hope she takes a break and then refuels, recharges, says Yes to this opportunity. The nation and the world would benefit from it.
Governor Andrew Cuomo currently has a First Girlfriend. Do you think he'll marry Sandra Lee to be in the running for Prez?
Anyone who is serious about considering a White House bid has to contemplate surrendering their lives for 10 years - 2 campaigning for the job & potentially 8 years in office. That can seem pretty daunting if you're already in your mid-60s & have lived in such an exhaustive fish bowl as has Hillary for so many years.
True, R25. And Hillary, probably more so than any other first-time candidate, knows what that would be like.
Yes, it would be a "surrender" of all other life options. But it'd be the peak, the ultimate, the culmination of everything else she has done in life. She's not like most people. She is extremely and unusually qualified and ready for the presidency. That said, the tiredness seems real.
I think you can deduct 1 year from those calculations, R25. If Hillary runs, she clears the field of any serious challengers for the nomination.
Hillary will never be president.
It's historically unusual for the same party to hold on to the presidency after 2 terms. Hillary's chances - if she runs - are very much dependent on the extent to which Obama is viewed as having had a successful presidency.
I smell a rat, too, in Pelosi's premature endorsement. Pelosi wants to be the top female Democrat in Washington, although she knows she'll never be President.
For the record, Biden voted for NAFTA, DOMA, and Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He and Hillary voted for the Patriot Act (Joe largely wrote it following the OKC bombing in '95) and to authorize the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Biden has sworn allegiance to Israel.
Hillary is looking old and tired and sick. And I can't imagine that her energy levels will pick up over the next few years to the extent needed to (i) campaign and (ii) spend 4 years as President - both of which take a massive amount of energy.
I'm more worried about Bill's health. He looks more frail with each passing year. If his health doesn't hold up, I don't think she would even consider running.
Hillary Clinton will be president and a superior one. Her election will be a moment of national unity similar to the first Obama election, and she will be much better positioned to avoid several strands of the cynical divisiveness gamed by the Republicans. By now she has a matchless skill and experience set, and such is her accomplishment that there is no scent of the "wife replacing husband who is still the big cheese" syndrome almost always associated with spousal politicians.
From here, everything depends on her health continuing to be good - there is little indication at the moment that she is at serious risk - and her continued good sense, which her term at State shows is better than ever.
Why the Hillary dismissals or bullshit here? No presidential candidate since Eisenhower has offered a comparable national-unity profile grounded in reality (as opposed to Reagan's attractive and focused senility of abstract hokum) and forward-looking feel-good progress.
Actually Bill's been in the news lately for undertaking a new fitness regime and meditation practice.
Put that together with Hillary's language shift - "not thinking about that right now" vs "No, I don't intend to run again." The former is as close to a Yes as you ever get, three years out.
All of this is prep for 2016, all of it. I feel quite sure. Sorry, Joe (Biden)!
I would LOVE to see Hillary run again.
I'd say four years is a long time but it's more like two. The fact that Obama did that joint interview with her is kind of telling though. I'm sure he won't actually endorse anyone but could signal who he wants in little ways.
[quote]By now she has a matchless skill and experience set, and such is her accomplishment that there is no scent of the "wife replacing husband who is still the big cheese" syndrome almost always associated with spousal politicians.
Thanks, that is a good point well-expressed. The scent you describe was a slight liability for her in 2008. That's entirely gone now, after her highly regarded term as US Secretary of State.
I Don't think it's going to be that easy for her to be the nomimee as people expect.
Hilary will be what 70 in 2016? Um... maybe she should think about chilling out for the rest of her life. Find something else to do.
Hillary will only run if Obama's 2nd term is a success for the economy.
If the economy is still in the pits after 4 years, than there will be a Republican in office. If Chelsea has a child in the next 2 years, then kiss your Hillary wet dreams goodbye. She wont run if she finally gets her grandbaby.
Any other stronger contenders for 2016?
If Hillary wants to run, she better hopeBarack gets a homerun second term similar to that of Bill.
Obama's first term was lousy though he still got much more done than Bill did in his first 4 years.
Barack got Bin Laden and healthcare reform passed: 2 things Bill failed at. The economy (jobs! jobs! jobs!) is the only big elephant in the room and it's the only thing people give a damn about (& rightly so).
Hahahhaa. Hil will NEVER be president.
I need a question answered by someone with insider info of the tabloids. Around New Years The Enquirer ran a story that Hillary really had brain cancer and not a clot. They've been right about so many stories in the past. Did someone run with a story when brain cancer was being ruled out? Has the reputation of The Enquirer atrophied near The Star's level? Can The Enquirer be trusted? Can someone please explain this?
[quote]Can The Enquirer be trusted?
They've been pretty well-behaved since the anthrax attack.
The Enquirer gets a bad rap & is always lumped in with the lesser rags like the Globe, but it did exemplary work on the OJ case & is generally right on health reports. I wasn't aware of this report.
Sure, if giving her stamp of approval to invasion of a country that had NOTHING to do with 9/11 and against which military action was completely unwarranted - if that poor judgment means nothing to you, then sure.
R47, fair point if we're talking about whether or not we each (as individuals) support her potential candidacy or not.
But this is a predictive, guessing-game discussion about whether she will run and can win -- not so much about the highs and lows of her past record.
Okay. I recognize no candidate is perfect. And I actually like her. But that vote did it for me, personally.
I think Obama would have voted differently if he were in the Senate then but nobody knows that for sure. He can be very pragamtic when he wants to be. For example there is no way Quantanimo will be closed under his watch.
That doesn't meant people have to approve of Hilary's vote.
He's also very passive and indecisive. The only reason Obama gave that speech was because he didn't have to do anything afterward.
I would LOOOOVVVEEEE for this cunt to run again. Her hubris will be her downfall and I would get no greater satisfaction of coming here and seeing the PUMAS implode in grief one more time. that was so fucking entertaining 4 years ago.
Oh Christ, R52 is still here. The one who gave the rest of us Obama supporters such a bad name.