In 2008, Hillary Clinton, US senator from New York, former first lady as wife of president Bill Clinton, mother of Chelsey, universal health care advocate and former lawyer, mounted and ran the first really credible political campaign for president of the USA ever run by a woman candidate. She came very close to winning enough delegates to be the democratic party’s nominee for president that year, winning 18 million primary votes. Barack Obama edged her out in the delegate count toward the end of the campaign season and Hillary pivoted to throw her complete support behind Obama.
Obama had said during the primary season that Clinton and he were friends before the campaign, and they would be friends after the campaign. He also recognized that except for his superior political organization on the ground, particularly in states that held caucuses instead of primary elections, Hillary might have won the nomination instead of him. He and his closest advisers realized that Clinton was extremely intelligent, had lived in the White House for eight years, had been engaged as the wife of a president, had traveled around the world as first lady, was a capable and popular senator from New York, and had knowledge, skills and abilities that would be squandered if he did not capture them and access them.
As a result, before the 2008 democratic convention, he met with her in private and asked her to be the next USA Secretary of State. Incidentally, this would place her fourth in line of succession to the presidency should something ever happen to him, the vice-president, the speaker of the house of representatives and the president pro tempore of the senate, in accordance with the US Constitution 25th amendment and subsequent US law.
Hillary was confirmed by the US senate in early 2009 and has served as the USA Secretary of State ever since. She was there with President Obama the night the Navy Seals took out Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, and she has been instrumental and engaged in international dealings that have benefited the USA.
In November 2010, largely as a result of GOP lies and false propaganda about the newly passed but not yet implemented health reform legislation now known as Obamacare, the tea-party-infested republicans took over as the majority in the US house of representatives. At that point the upcoming presidential election of 2012 became a real horse race. All during that time, Hillary continued to work behind the scenes on the foreign policy issues of the day.
Pundits wondered if Obama should replace vice-president Joe Biden as US vice-president for the 2012 election with her. For her part, she repeatedly made it crystal clear that she was not interested in any way in the job of vice-president or any other elected position…ever. In fact, at this point it became common knowledge that she would be leaving her job as Secretary of State shortly after Obama won re-election. Over and over she has stated that she wants to return to private life.
In September 2012, terrorists attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, murdering four US diplomats. In its aftermath the public statements about it were confusing and conflicting. Republicans attempted to make a political campaign issue out of that but were unsuccessful. Still, congressional hearings were scheduled, and yesterday Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified before both houses of the US Congress.
Republicans, who are still reeling over their losses in the November 2012 elections, were told to be respectful of Hillary when she testified. They realized that she is incredibly popular among Americans, with a 67% favorable rating vs. 26 unfavorable. Most republicans were respectful to her, with notable exception made by republican 2016 presidential hopeful senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and GOP senator Ron Johnson from Wisconsin. When Ron Paul stated that he would have fired her had he been president (how much more political can you get?), she simply looked away dismissingly as if to tell him that she wasn’t interested in his political campaign statement. And when Ron Johnson asked her something but wouldn’t let her answer, she lit into him in a way that backed him right off. You can watch the exchanges HERE.
For their part, the democrats kept thanking her for her service and repeatedly hinted at their desire for her to run for president in 2016, even though she has repeatedly insisted that she’s all done with public life. Of course, that was before the November 2012 elections. With each hint, she simply smiled or laughed.
think about it. She is much wiser and more experienced now. No republican can come close to matching her skills and abilities in foreign policy. She is clearly the front-run among the democrats and much of the USA, for that matter.
So….will she change her mind? Will she being unengaged bore her to death?
The smart money says….stand by.