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Monday, August 18, 2014

Why Hillary will run for president

Telegraph Editorial

Hillary Clinton’s scripted slap-down of President Barack Obama’s mealy-mouthed foreign policy strategy intensifies speculation about whether the former secretary of state will seek the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Let the speculation end. She’s running. You don’t write a 657-page book about what a great leader you are, then spend what is now going on three months hyping it to the hilt, just to fade into the sunset. And you don’t call out your former boss when his approval ratings recall the dark days of the Nixon administration, unless you’re trying to head off possible collateral damage to your image. ...

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Hillary Clinton’s scripted slap-down of President Barack Obama’s mealy-mouthed foreign policy strategy intensifies speculation about whether the former secretary of state will seek the Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

Let the speculation end. She’s running. You don’t write a 657-page book about what a great leader you are, then spend what is now going on three months hyping it to the hilt, just to fade into the sunset. And you don’t call out your former boss when his approval ratings recall the dark days of the Nixon administration, unless you’re trying to head off possible collateral damage to your image.

Surely Clinton has scanned the competition and rightly concluded the nomination is hers to lose. Against an incredibly weak Democratic field, Clinton stands out as the party’s best opportunity to retain control of the White House.

Vice President Joe Biden could run, but he’s been very careful not to tip his hand, especially because it’s still 2014. He has about a year to tread water without putting a run at a disadvantage. His biggest challenge will be overcoming his reputation as a loose cannon. The Internet is littered with lists of his most glaring blunders. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed that Obama has pushed Biden well into the background.

Biden ran for president in 2008, but didn’t make it to the New Hampshire primary. He dropped out after getting just 1 percent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses, after which he would not seek the presidency again.

One of bigger Democratic names thrown around as a potential candidate had been New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, son of former governor Mario Cuomo. But young Cuomo finds himself embroiled in a nasty corruption controversy in New York that makes a presidential run impossible.

Cuomo established a special commission to root out corruption in state government, then abruptly dismantled it when it targeted potential problems in his own re-election campaign. At one point, the U.S. Attorney for Manhattan threatened to investigate Cuomo for obstruction of justice or witness tampering.

The rest of the names on the Democratic list of contenders are a hodge-podge of has-beens, hacks and longshots, including former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Jim Webb of Virginia and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, and Govs. Jay Nixon of Missouri and John Hickenlooper, of Colorado.

The list goes on, but the point is clear. While history proves that anything can happen in politics, none of the above can touch Clinton in terms of qualifications, stature or organization. While she isn’t guaranteed to be the nominee, she would be foolish not to run, given the competition in a likely field.

Those who argue Clinton won’t run question whether she has a true “fire in the belly” for the job, especially considering the problems she would likely face when Obama leaves office. And, of course, there would be all those questions about Benghazi.

Watching Clinton the past several weeks, there is clearly a fire in the belly as she bounces from booking signings, to talk shows, to newspaper and magazine interviews. If she’s grown tired of the routine, she’s not showing it. If anything, she appears revitalized to prove wrong those who suggest she’s not up to the challenge.

And don’t forget, the quest for redemption is a powerful force. Winning the nomination would heal the wound created from when she lost out to Obama in 2008. And, after all, does anyone truly believe that Clinton would pass up the opportunity to be the first woman president and walk away spending the rest of her days wondering, “what if.”

Not likely.