Hillary Clinton: "I’m in"! (UPDATED x 2) Posted by: McQ
on Saturday, January 20, 2007
Sen. Hillary Clinton made official what most political observers had speculated was all but a certainty:
New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D) today announced she will establish a presidential exploratory committee, launching a 2008 campaign that could make her the first female president in history and the only former first lady to succeed her husband in the White House.
In a posting on her campaign Web site, Clinton announced her decision with a headline that read, "I'm In."
Now the fun really begins. Of course she's the latest of many Senators on both sides to enter the race, which, of course, means that for the next two years, all of them are going to be posturing for the voters as they supposedly go about their Senatorial duties. So you can expect a lot of this:
"The stakes will be high when America chooses a new president in 2008," Clinton said in the written statement. "As a senator, I will spend [the next] two years doing everything in my power to limit the damage George W. Bush can do. But only a new president will be able to undo Bush's mistakes and restore our hope and optimism."
In so many words, that will be the message of most of the candidates. Politically it makes sense to an extent. However, this presidential race is beginning earlier than any in our history, and my question is how sick and tired will the American public become of hearing how bad everything is (while observing a good economy and assessing their own circumstances in a mostly positive light) by November of '08? Is there a "doom and gloom" quotient that, when met, will begin a backlash?
For the next two years we're going to hear about "damage" and "two Americas" and, how Bush "betrayed us!"
My guess is the Congressional bi-partisan honeymoon is over by Feb/March and we're into divisive and bitter Congressional investigations about Iraq and you-name-it. They'll primarily be aimed at embarrassing Bush and the Republicans. They'll have the dual role of giving various Congressional presidential wannabes on the various investigating committees a platform from which to raise their visibility and demonstrate their "leadership" such that it is (despite the fact that the new Fox poll shows that 43% of those polled thought the "hearings would be purely partisan and intended to hurt Republicans before the next election.").
Yes, my friends, I look for a long and tortuous 2 years to the '08 elections. And although it will be blogging heaven, most of us will pray aloud for the end to what I predict will be one of the nastiest, bitterest, dirtiest and most profoundly disappointing presidential elections in modern history. I also predict that the winner, whoever that may be, will spend at least 1 billion dollars to be able to sit in the Oval office.
Trading in two popular online futures markets — the Iowa Electronic Markets and Intrade.com, an Irish exchange — put a 54% probability on a Democrat winning the next presidential election and likelihoods of 70% or more that Democrats will hold onto the House and Senate.
As the article notes, these really don't mean much now, but are fun to note. As to the actual candidates -
Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York leads the Democratic pack on Intrade.com with a 46% probability of winning her party’s nomination, followed by 23% for Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois and roughly 16% for former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
On the Republican side, Sen. John McCain of Arizona is out in front with a 43% chance of getting the nomination. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani are tied for second with traders giving each of them a 17% shot.
Clinton is given a roughly 23% chance of winning the general election right now on Intrade, slightly higher than the 21% probability attached to McCain.
Wow. What a choice. If those two end up being the candidates one thing for sure will change ... a Senator will be elected as president. Whether that is a positive thing is still something to be debated.
The Democratic Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, will reportedly announce plans to form a presidential exploratory committee ahead of a possible campaign in 2008.
Frankly I see Richardson as a credible dark horse candidate who, by starting early, may build up enough visibility to eventually be among the top candidates when '08 finally rolls around. And, he's not a Senator.
UPDATE II: Some of the reactions around the net to Clinton's announcement:
Still I wish she would have said more about the issue she is most personally identified with–health care. She does ask, “How can we make sure every American has access to adequate health care?” While she asks the question she gives no indication as to how she will go about it. This is an important question in light of her previous health care proposal which was so terrible that it contributed to the Democrats losing control of Congress and prevented any real discussion of change for over a decade. Her approach to health care also makes me wonder about how she will respond to other problems.
A lot to wonder about, isn't it? Most importantly, what has she ever "led" or "governed"?
Democratic Underground is always fun for getting a sounding among the more, uh, unstable of the left. You know, little goodies like "I'll vote Green if my party is stupid enough to nominate a war monger like her".
Heh ... in that case, "go Hillary, go!"
Mark Silva a "The Swamp" pretty much reflects the thinking of both DU and Liberal Values:
With one quick splash on the Internet, Clinton is confronting the issue of the moment – President Bush's handling of the war – and an issue that has proved problematic politically for her – health care, and her involvement in the attempt of then-President Bill Clinton to win a national health care plan.
BTW, in case you're wondering, "The Swamp" is one of those newspaper blogs (Chicago Tribune) I posted about previously.
Hilzoy at Obsidian Wings, after declaring she'd vote for Hillary over any Republican, says:
The real problem is that she'd be a disaster for the Democrats if she were nominated, and, I suspect, not that great a President in the unlikely event that she won.
Like I said: this is a campaign that calls for hemlock stakes, garlic, and silver bullets.
Heh ... Not hard to read between the lines as to her thoughts on Republicans, but not exactly a ringing endorsement of Clinton either.
Right now, the blogosphere is her biggest challenge, I believe. The cynics and skeptics out here are wide and deep.
Easily nominated for the "Understatement of the Year" award. Marsh further asserts:
One thing is certain, with the entry of Senator Hillary Clinton the Democrats have all the excitement and star power on our side. Even Pat Buchanan on MSNBC said, though the pace of the race was forced by Obama jumping in, Clinton handled her announcement perfectly. She'll certainly suck all the oxygen up this weekend.
Well yeah. In fact, she'll probably even be mentioned on our podcast tomorrow as we talk with Ed Morrisey from Captain's Quarters (shameless plug).
BTW, if you click through to any of these, be sure to read the comments. There is a real strain of anti-Hillary sentiment in them and not just from right-wing trolls.
Speaking of Capt. Ed, this hits him as mostly a yawn although he does think her early announcement does signal recognition that this will be a long and bruising fight:
Hillary's announcement changes nothing. No one seriously thought she'd take a pass, and all this does is confirm what everyone already knew. It's interesting that she committed this early, though. Normally, candidates who already hold national office or governorships like to wait until later in the cycle so as to allow their natural access to the media to work as de facto campaign appearances. As long as they haven't announced, equal-time provisions won't apply. The early announcements of candidacies or of explorations by people like Barack Obama may have forced her into an early commitment.
Hillary Clinton's website is here if you want to see the announcement for yourself. Apparently the official "Hillary Blog" is still in drydock. But you have the opportunity to write it's first post. Wooohoo.
Helvidius at Political Insider releases Clinton pollster Mark Penn's memo on how Hillary Clinton can win it all.
James Carville and I wrote a piece in 2006 for the Washington Post about how and why Hillary Clinton can win. Every one of the arguments we cited there are even more true today. Hillary Clinton has surged in the polls since the election this November. And women constitute a huge "X factor" in this upcoming election. More than 54 percent of the general election voters will be women, and many — particularly those in the younger generation — believe it is about time this country had its first woman president. And they believe Hillary is the right choice.
A commenter at The Moderate Voice reacted to the story of her announcement by saying "and with this announcement the Republicans finally get good news."
Think Progress has an interesting listing of everyone who's declared their candidacy to this point and their presence on the web. Did anyone know former Gov. Jim Gilmore (R-VA)was running? Yeah me neither.
I live in NH and this will not be any longer for me than any other recent election cycle. Hell the 2008 campaign started here sometime in 2005. Backlash......ya. Layers of it. Backlash against backlash against.... well you get the picture. I think if Obama had not aroused such an unexpected response, Hillary would have wisely laid back much longer. The real juice comes from saying the right thing once and not having to revise and backpedal over and over. An interesting game we play here; pick 3 major issues and count how many times the candidates reverse themselves. Try it, it beats the hell out of taking them seriously. I prayed that first in the nation would be somewhere else........but alas prayer never worked too well for me.