With most of the Left finally realizing that the anticipated Unicorn & Rainbow Camelot is actually become The Nightmare on Pennsylvania Avenue, an ever-louder chorus of voices are speaking the previously unspeakable: Obama should not run again. Since Hillary Clinton was the logical, rational, best choice for president in 2008, only to be shoved aside by hopey-changey lemmings, eyes now inevitably turn to her as an alternative in 2012. While in Bahrain this week, The Secretary of State was asked yet again whether she intends on running for office. Her response:
“I think I will serve as secretary of state as my last public position, and then probably go back to advocacy, and probably on behalf of woman and children….”
This follows an appearance last month on Fox News, where Clinton declared,
“I am very happy doing what I’m doing, and I am not in any way interested in or pursuing anything in elective office….”
Despite the decided dodginess of Clinton’s full comments, the headlines blared that she had definitively promised never, ever to run again. Never ever. Stick-a-needle-in-my-eye never. The dwindling ranks of obots rejoiced, while Hillary supporters lamented (with the exception of a subset who see Hillary as ‘tired’ and wish to protect her from further ‘abuse’.) The Right, who’d love a scrum in the Dem primary, continue to praise Clinton … for the moment. Chrissie O’Donnell officially has a girl-crush on Hillary.
In truth, nothing at all can be gleaned from Clinton’s comments. First, she deflected these questions in the most round-about way possible. Second, the specific question on FOX was whether she’d run as obama’s VP. Third, whatever Hillary’s true intentions, It was the only possible thing she could say.
Clinton is either:
a) definitely running, or;
b) undecided about running, or;
c) definitely not running.
Whichever is true, her on-the-record response would be the same. It’s unthinkable for a cabinet member to publicly announce their intention to run against the sitting president. To do so at this point would be fatal to her career. However, even if Clinton were not considering a run, certain political advantages would still accrue by keeping people wondering.
Clinton has been deftly fouling off similar inquiries for two years now. Only a political tyro (or Joe Biden) would do otherwise. With her most recent statements, Hillary indulges us in three jalousies that we all know range from uncertain to preposterous:
1. obama will win a second nomination;
2. obama will win a second term;
3. obama loves Hillary so much he’ll bring her back as SoS.
Even Clinton’s professed love for her current job amounts to little. Keep this in mind: If obama is the nominee in 2012, Clinton will not be SoS in 2013. It goes without saying that a Republican president would not keep a Clinton in their Cabinet. Were obama to somehow get reelected, Clinton is also out. SoS is the prized plum. In ’08, obama offered it first to Kerry for his endorsement, then to Edwards for his, then to Clinton for her surrender. In ’12, obama would dangle that plum before whoever could help him most. If Hillary truly wants to keep her dream job at State, she needs to boost a protégé into the White House.
With her public statements so unrevealing, what other signs can we parse to divine Hillary’s intentions? Here are a few to ponder:
* During the recent mid-terms, Bill Clinton made a point of being seen campaigning for every Hillary delegate from 2008. That simply could have been the right thing to do, but it may also have sent a message: Whose team do you want to play on? Whether that means Hillary Clinton ’12, or just the Clintonista candidate, is unclear.
* Evan Bayh has done everything — not seek reelection to his office, raise a ton of money, pull together a campaign team — that one does before running for president. Bayh is a long-time Clintonista. Whether his role is a “rabbit” to let Hillary enter the race later (with VP as the reward), or the actual Clinton Camp candidate, also remains to be seen. If Bayh did not run, that would be noteworthy.
* Why did the HRC 2008 campaign, which still exists as an entity, send an email last week asking for hefty donations to retire her campaign debt? In return, the donor would receive a signed copy ($50 for paper, $250 for DVD) of her 2008 convention speech, in which, as the email reminds us, Hillary spoke of the “determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.” The timing is curious. Is this a simple attempt to wipe out that debt by tapping into Hillary love agitated by the recent speculations? Or is a way to take bearings of the level of support?
* A pronounced break with obama on foreign policy, followed by a resignation, would be the strongest indicator of an impending run by Clinton. The State Dept. and White House have spatted frequently, most recently in September over Clinton’s comparison of the drug cartel situation in Mexico to that of Colombia two decades ago, but these differences have been smoothed over so far. A bungling of a flare-up in the Korean situation, however, or the White House dragging its feet on wikileaks, would provide more than sufficient cause for Clinton to break with obama. If she does, stay tuned.
Of course Secretary of State is a job Clinton truly enjoys — dealing with other grown-ups who respect you, making a real impact in crucial global issues, serving as the face of the United States, stand in stark contrast to the pettiness, backstabbing, and general insanity of party politics. Hillary would no doubt enjoy being President, too. It’s the road to the White House that’s unpalatable. But here’s the deal:
1) We need Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in 2012 — she’s the only one who can run both as a Democrat and against the obama legacy. She fought him in ’08, and by escaping the Senate, she is untainted by obama’s Superfund Site of toxic legislation. Her unique broad-based appeal can also help win back the demographics alienated by the obamalonians;
2) We know Hillary can win the general election. She currently owns the highest approvals of any potential candidate;
3) We know Hillary is eminently suited to fixing the dire condition of the Nation. There may be others, but she has proven her abilities;
4) Hillary knows all this, too.
Whatever her designs, she cannot make a single move so long as obama remains the presumptive nominee. Our first duty as true liberals is to ensure that Barry goes on permanent vacation. Then ask Hillary the question again.
(c) 2010 by ‘tamerlane.’ All rights reserved.
I’m not kidding — this post is like an early Christmas present. And is already my favorite one.
Jay, you were the one who pointed out the other day that — what else could she say?
Beautiful post. What I haven’t seen much of elsewhere, is the analysis of what Hillary’s future will be if Obama runs again. No matter what, she will no longer be SOS. If we know it, then she knows it too.
I have a post up on Hillary 2012 today too. Stop by if you’d like:
Excellent post Tamer.
I was one who thought those last Hillary statements were the absolute fini. But the tidbit on the “retire the debt” for a copy of her yowsa concession speech [never give up] gives me a thread to hang onto.
The Obama ranks are dismantling as we speak. Olbermann’s rant last night was astounding, particularly when you recall how Olbermann was a primo toesucker. The blogs are on fire with Obama disgust.
How quickly they fall.
Hillary Clinton is the only reasonable choice to steer this ship from the glacier. It’s getting pretty late in the day and the woman does not have magic. But I’d trust her to come up with working solutions before any other Dem. And certainly any Republican. In fact, the Republicans are turning more bizarre every day. Execute Julian Assange? Seems to be their response to everything. If you can’t solve it, kill it.
I hate to mention the word ‘hope’ because it’s been so maligned. Still, I have my fingers wrapped around a skinny thread.
Now, it is the end of the tax year, and time for everyone to scrounge for charitable contributions, but the large amount and the particular swag made me wonder.
I had the same thought when I got my e-mail, tamerlane. Then I thought, “Naw, that just has to be my wishful thinking.” At least now I know I wasn’t the only one who thought, “Hmm..”
As long as there is life, there is hope.
I refuse to let the Obots subtract words from the English language.
Hope is good. Hope is life. The absence of hope is a dark void.
Let’s retake words from the Obots and declare hope a good thing — NOT a delusional thing.
obot “hope” was actually “wishful thinking.” Real hope leads to aspiration, which leads to action. We will act to try and realize what we hope for.
Tamer, I agree with you. What else could Clinton possibly say when she is the SOS? Not only would saying she would challenge the POTUS be bad for her, it would surely make other nations lose confidence in our foreign policy if she appeared to half-heartedly support the POTUS. Plus, saying “I think I will, probably then, probably then…” how much more obsequious of a statement could she make. This is why she is such a gosh darned great SOS.
The call for retiring her debt is telling. And, my gut is telling me she is willing but will need the appearance of being dragged into running. She will need to be dragged seemingly kicking and screaming because of the raycist rantings. Seeing Evan Bayh serving as a “rabbit” is a great maneuver and I could see Feingold also serving in that capacity. Indeed, Feingold would make a great SOS. It will be interesting to see if those now calling for Obama to be primaried as Clarence B. Jones did in Huffpo start mentioning Hillary as a real option. Haven’t seen Olbermann’s rant, but him mentioning “or woman” leads me to believe he’s gonna start to become a feminist real fast.
It needs to be a “Draft Hillary” scenario, with Hillary as the “savior” & “healer” of the Party.
The Clinton Camp has already run a staged “Draft Wes” campaign in 2004 for their candidate, Wes Clark.
I have a little draft Hillary action that I will announce next month — hope all of you will participate.
Perfectly reasoned and perfectly stated. Hillary is the only one who can make a difference by running in 2012.
I am convinced that there has been some form of conversation with her by parties unknown to at least consider when the time comes.
And if and when that time comes, it will be at the advice of Bill Clinton one way or the other.
I can see her taking up the challenge should Obama decide to not seek a second term, but I am hesitant to see her doing so as a primary challenger.
It may rip whatever is left of the party apart and I doubt she would want to go down in history as a “spoiler”.
For me, I would give anything to see her run and win.
Hillary will not challenge Obama if he decides to run again.
If Obama steps aside — and please, God, let him do so — she MAY run if asked by the major Party leaders and donors.
Hillary will always do what is best for this country and would not refuse to make a run for the presidency if persuaded that only she can beat whoever the Republicans nominate.
Not one-on-one, no. But if it becomes a seven dwarves scenario with obama ( Dopey? No-Hopey?) as one of the dwarves, she might wade in.
Maybe THAT is our way forward: Urge as many Democrats as we can to run. Then Hillary might join in on the “fun.”
The thing is that we had a “Cadillac candidate” in 2008 with Hillary Clinton. She had proven her mettle in over 35 yrs of public service and had shown herself to be a well liked and well respected senator that even her opposition had come to admire.
She knew her way around, had been vetted throughout the years, spoke with clarity and conviction, was schooled on the issues, and knew her way around the political landscape.
Instead, they forced an “Edsel” upon us whose background in public service was fuzzy at best, whose resume and paper trail were sparse, and who admitted to admire Ronald Reagan which should have been the first red flag right there.
And this is the result of that specious undertaking. A complete failure when it comes to decision making, devoide of leadership qualities, and sheer lack of knowledge on what the public at large needs from the government in terms of survival.
The nation is being paid back in full for not paying attention and allowing itself to be caught up in the glitz and glamour of marching bands, fainting crowds, hysterical comparisons, and outright fraud.
If Hillary Clinton can correct some of the abuses that we are sure to be enjoying when the GOP is allowed to “waves its wand” then this is her time.
Otherwise, from where I sit, we are sunk.
I love the Edsel reference.