Hillary Clinton Surprises Nobody, Announces She’s Running For President
So, she's in.
To the surprise of nobody, and indeed as had been leaked for the past several days, Hillary Clinton formally entered the race for President today via a video released by her campaign and an email from a longtime aide to her supporters:
Ending two years of speculation and coy denials,Hillary Rodham Clinton announced on Sunday that she would seek the presidency for a second time, immediately establishing herself as the likely 2016 Democratic nominee.
“I’m running for president,” she said with a smile near the end of a two-minute videoreleased just after 3 p.m.
“Everyday Americans need a champion. And I want to be that champion,” Mrs. Clinton said. “So I’m hitting the road to earn your vote — because it’s your time. And I hope you’ll join me on this journey.”
The announcement came minutes after emails from John D. Podesta, Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, alerting donors and longtime Clinton associates to her candidacy.
Mr. Podesta said that Mrs. Clinton would meet soon with voters in Iowa and host a formal kickoff event some time next month.
The announcement effectively began what could be one of the least contested races, without an incumbent, for the Democratic presidential nomination in recent history — a stark contrast to the 2008 primaries, when Mrs. Clinton, the early front-runner, ended up in a long and expensive battle won by Barack Obama. It could also be the first time a woman captures a major party’s nomination.
Regardless of the outcome, Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 campaign will open a new chapter in the extraordinary life of a public figure who has captivated and polarized the country since her husband, former President Bill Clinton, declared his intention to run for president in 1991. Mrs. Clinton was the co-star of the Clinton administration, the only first lady ever elected to the United States Senate and a globe-trotting diplomat who surprised her party by serving dutifully under the president who defeated her.
She will embark on her latest — and perhaps last — bid for the White House with nearly universal name recognition and a strong base of support, particularly among women. But in a campaign that will inevitably be about the future, Mrs. Clinton, 67, enters as a quintessential baby boomer, associated with the 1990s and with the drama of the Bill Clinton years.
This campaign will begin on a small scale and build up to an effort likely to cost more than any presidential bid waged before, with Mrs. Clinton’s supporters and and outside “super PACs” looking to raise as much as $2.5 billion in a blitz of donations from Democrats who overwhelmingly support her candidacy. Much of that enthusiasm is tied to the chance to make history by electing a woman president. But some, too, owes to the lack of compelling alternatives in a party trying desperately to hold on to the White House when Republicans control the House and the Senate.
Here’s the video:
The video that launches this campaign is markedly different from the one that opened her 2008 run for the Presidency. In that video, Clinton was sitting on a coach and talking to the camera and, as her candidacy in that cycle did from the beginning, projected an assumption of inevitability that proved to be its downfall when presented with a challenger such as Barak Obama. Another difference is that the 2007 video was actually just the announcement of a Presidential Exploratory Committee, whereas this time Clinton is skipping that step like candidates such as Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have done and diving right into the campaign itself. This time around, her campaign launch seems to bear more resemblance to the campaign that she ran in 2000 when she ran for Senate in New York and spent the better part of a month visiting every area of the state on what that campaign called a “listening tour.” At least initially, it seems as though the campaign will follow a similar strategy this time around in that, for at least the next month or so, we aren’t likely to see Clinton at any huge campaign rallies like the ones that she and President Obama held while battling for the Democratic nomination in 2008. Instead, she’ll be engaging in smaller events in the early primary states, especially in Iowa, where Clinton’s vulnerabilities in 2008 were first laid bare after she came in third behind President Obama and John Edwards. The larger events will follow, of course, but for the time being it appears that the campaign will be looking for something smaller scale and, of course, the media attention that goes along with it. At the same time, of course, they’ll be going full bore on fundraising just as they did in 2008, and some analysts are estimating that she could raise as much as $2.5 billion by the time the election ends in November 2016..
As Clinton enters the race, there are plenty of questions hanging over her that will become the focus of much of the coverage over the coming months. It remains to be seen, for example, if Clinton and the people advising her have learned the lessons of the 2008 campaign and will adjust their behavior accordingly. While much of the outcome of the Democratic nomination fight that year is, of course, attributable to the unique circumstances of Barack Obama’s candidacy and the issues facing the country at the time, it’s also undeniable that Clinton and her advisers made several key error in responding to the rise of the Obama phenomenon that made the campaign’s position far worse. While it seems incredibly unlikely that she will face an opponent anywhere near as strong as Barack Obama was six years ago, how she conducts her run for the Democratic nomination will go a long way toward defining her for the General Election. In addition to these logistical and tactical issues, of course, Clinton entering the race makes it inevitable that all of the old baggage about the Clinton years will be aired yet again, mostly by the Republicans competing for the right to run against her. The same will be true about controversies over her time as Secretary of State such as the Benghazi attack and her use of a private email server for official communications. If the past is any indication, Clinton’s critics will likely end up shooting themselves in the foot with their rhetoric on these issues, but Clinton will also have to deal with a public that may be skeptical about returning to the politics of the Clinton era. Finally, Clinton will at some point have to explain how her tenure as Secretary of State has prepared her to be President, and to explain what exactly it was that she accomplished while she held that office. Given the chaotic state of the world in the two years since she left office, that could be a hard sell to make.
The odds seem to be in favor of Clinton winning in November 2016, but a lot can happen between now and then, and her campaign would be well advised to not assume inevitability yet again.
Well I, for one, am shocked at this turn of events!
Monica Lewinsky’s ex-boyfriend’s wife is running for something? How awesome
Already donated a couple hundred.
Awwww…that’s so cute…you’ll be even more bitter when she wins it all…
@michael reynolds: Wasting so much money.! Tsk, Tsk. You must have a small brain clot too–just like her.
Tell you what. How about if I just donate my savings from Obamacare? That’s six grand a year. Does that work for you?
I’ll be voting Green and not the lesser evil.
And when a climate change denying, anti-environmentalist Republican wins you can wallow in smug. Absolutely prioritize your need for smug. Much more important than real world effects.
Great, a pro-Patriot-Act, pro-surveillance, pro-drug-war, beholden-to-wall-street, war hawk. And that’s the candidate on the left! Fan-effing-tastic. Makes me very excited for my “choice” in 2016
I want to be with Michael on this but I’m with Ben here. She’s terrible on issues that I care about. How about making private equity firms pay the taxes everyone else pays? How about a small tax on financial transactions? Maybe a little less war and a little more focus on poverty?
She’s almost certainly better than anything that the GOP will put forward, but that doesn’t say a whole lot. I won’t be angry with anyone who wants to be pragmatic, but I’ll likely be voting for a thrid party again.
And just which Hillary for President position paper are you citing? Has she laid out positions? No. So you’re reacting to what, exactly?
Yes, because it all worked out so well voting for Nader in 2000…people like you are one of the reasons why we had 8 years of the Bush disaster…
Hopefully you and people like you live in blue states…unless you want to help the GOP get back into the White House…along with many of the same idiots who were part of Bush’s foreign policy team…not to mention guaranteeing more people like Roberts and Alito on the Supreme Court…it must be so nice to live in a world of purity rather than in the world of reality…
I think in a Jeb vs. Hillary I’d go Bush, but that’s not a sure thing. Neither is a person I want as president but neither is someone I’d NEVER vote for under any circumstances (like Romney in ’12 or Cruz in ’16). It’s early enough out that I can declare myself undecided without it meaning uneducated, I think. As Michael reminds us, whatever issues they want to stake their campaigns and / adopt stances on have not been announced yet.
I still don’t understand (ok, I do, but it’s a bummer) why we can’t seem to find any worthy individuals outside of just these two families. And if we are voting on what the name-sharing predecessors did, I would go Clinton without a doubt. But that’s as mcuh the circumstances of the times as anything.
I’m really curious to see how the right-of-Jeb candidates do in the primaries and what impact this has on him. I think it will play out different than Romney, Mr. Etch-a-Sketch. What boggles my mind, however, is that for a lot of Republicans lost in the echo chamber of conservative media, they really believe that the problem in ’12 that allowed evil Obama to triumph was that the GOP didn’t pony up a “true American Patriot” candidate in the general to electrify the hidden majority of god-fearing, born-again, salt-of-earth, brought-to-you-by-Hannity-, great Americans.” Obviously that’s just delusional, and right now Bush is the only candidate I see that’s position with the apparatus, name recognition, and moderate reputation to make a real challenge in November, but of course the other wings of the party are going to try to turn him into hamburger beginning in Iowa if they don’t wake up.
Well man, considering her website doesn’t have a policy link I guess we’ll just have to infer it from her past advocacy. Where do you think her past performance in office and past public statements leads us?
John425 told me that the only way it would work for him is if you donated that money directly to me.
I’ll give some to Hillary. I promise.
(I actually liked her video. The concept works, lots people talking about their plans for the year before segueing into a rather understated appearance from the star, but it really works for Hillary. She’s gotten better at this since 08.)
@Keith: “Well man, considering her website doesn’t have a policy link I guess we’ll just have to infer it from her past advocacy. Where do you think her past performance in office and past public statements leads us?”
Or you could, you know, wait more than eight hours after she announces her candidacy to see what sorts of policies she puts out there. I realize that it’s already April 2015 and you absolutely must make up your mind who you’re going to vote for while there’s still a year and a half before the election, but maybe you could hold off for a day or so…
@James Pearce: I have to admit, the video surprises me. There was a shot of two hands holding and a guy talking about how he’s about to marry the person he loves — and it cuts wide and he’s with another guy. There’s no fear of the Right here, no waffling, no triangulating.
On the whole, I thought it was a lovely and powerful piece of film… something I rarely say about any political advertising.
She will be the candidate of the only sane political party in the US.
Want to ignore climate change?
Want war with Iran?
Want more stupid SCOTUS decisions like Hobby Lobby and McCutcheon and Citizens United?
Want massive tax cuts for the wealthy? And continue the war against the middle class?
Want to privatize SS and Medicare?
Want to reverse civil rights gains?
Don’t vote for Clunton.
And there was a Spanish speaker, too. Not just a generic brown face, but a genuine Spanish-speaking American.
It’s like the producers asked, “What kind of voters are you going after, Hil?” And she responded with an Oldmanesque, “Everyone. EVERYONNNNNE!!!”
If that video is any indication, she’s learned quite a lot.
You’re granting the US Sec of State power over the world the office just doesn’t hold.
You left an important thing off your list of things Jeb is the candidate in possession of: “the foreign policy advisors of his brother.” You might want to consider the world on fire ramifications of that before you pull the lever for another Bush.
@Ben I don’t think she is going to be running around apologizing to some of these foreign countries.
This is the kind of thing that just drives me insane. People seem to think the United States is Daddy to the World, and golly, we could give everyone ice cream three meals a day if only we weren’t so mean.
The US government has two tools at its disposal. 1) The military, which is basically a great big sledge hammer we can use in extreme circumstances to kill and maim and destroy. And, 2) Diplomacy, which includes foreign aid. That’s what we’ve got: one great big stick, and some little sticks and a handful of carrots.
The problem is that the world just basically refuses to make itself amenable to us. And most of what the world does to annoy us falls into the big gap between Military Power and Diplomacy. Venezuela, for instance, does not like our diplomacy or seem prepared to bend to our will, but we don’t give enough of a sh!t to blow them up. They don’t really matter.
Or we have cases like North Korea where as heinous as they are, they’re more trouble to us dead than alive – the Chinese don’t want them, the South Koreans aren’t anxious to absorb them, Japan doesn’t want them floating ashore. So we can’t blow ’em up real good, and we can’t exactly lay sanctions on them since they’re not buying anything anyway.
Or we have some amazing mess like the Syria/Iraq/ISIS/Al Qaeda/Iran fun box that Mr. Bush left us. We’re bombing ISIS as Iran and Syria are strengthened. What’s our alternative? Who we gotta kill to straighten up that shithole? Who are we going to work our diplomatic wiles on, Assad? Al Baghdadi? Zawahiri? It’s a choose-your-own-monster adventure.
And when we do make genuine diplomatic progress it’s promptly undercut by our backstabbing former ally and the 47 traitors in the United States Senate – soon to be joined by more.
Why didn’t Hillary fix all that when she was Secretary of State? Asks no one who knows a single goddamned thing about foreign policy.
Its really, really, really hard to glue the china shop back together after the Bush bull has rampaged through it leaving us the gift of a nuclear North Korea, the gift of an unchecked Iranian nuclear program, an unbroken Al Qaeda, an un-destroyed Taliban and a sectarian crapstorm in a hollowed-out Iraq.
Yeah I thought the video was nice work. You want to see the difference between Democrats and Republicans, they’re nicely on display. Well beyond tokensim to open embrace of Latinos and gays. She’s laying down a marker there, not dialing it back to play it safe.
@James Pearce: My wife noticed that the only type of voter missing from the video was an elderly white guy .
Well, they offered me the part but I had prior commitments.
@Ben: But remember, Joyner has declared (on several occasions, no less) that America is no longer a Center Right nation, but has moved left.
Moral: we simply don’t know where left is (or Joyner doesn’t, one of the two).
Please name two years in which the state of the world was not chaotic. Feel free to use all of history in your search.
I’m with you, michael. Which I why I found Doug’s comment breathtaking in it’s glibness.
I found Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as Sec of State effective, if not historic, which sounds like damning praise until you consider the fine mess she inherited from Ms. Rice and her boss.
As you and others have noted here, the alternative is Crazy Town and all that could lead to, so the Democrat will get my vote regardless. But, I’d prefer to be excited about the Dem nominee, so I’m hopeful we’ll see some new thinking from Sec. Clinton as her current policy positions become known. As Ben and Keith have noted, her past positions do not thrill. However, she has demonstrated the capacity to grow in the past, so I’m pulling for some evolved positions.
I found the video about as good as I could have wished for in that regard: the focus wasn’t on her and she opened with a nod toward the most important issue of the day, IMO, that being the crappy state of the middle class. These are pretty good lines – “Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top. Everyday Americans need a champion and I want to be that champion.”
@anjin-san: depends how long Adam and Eve were in the garden…
After reading through the comments, This article from the NYT seems to hit many of the points above.
I share it with you…
Interesting encapsulation of issues. And, I would say, he nailed it.
The challenge for 2016 will be if those who consider themselves Republicans of decades ago will vote for the party that now represents the Oligarchs. I believe they will, as habits are hard to break.
At last. I guess she finally mysteriously found those subpoenaed announcement documents in a closet or something…….
@jo6pac: I bet you were one of those who voted for Ralph Nader, because “there was no difference”
Purity is no match for strategy
@C. Clavin: Three words: Supreme. Court. Appointments.
Seriously, though, the Republicans have driven so far off into right field with their attacks on women’s health care that I don’t seriously consider anyone with an R after their name.
If only Hillary was as successful as Donald Rumsfeld in creating and executing a grand plan for solving issues abroad.
Without a doubt THE SINGLE BIGGEST issue in 2016.
@Mike: Russian plane intercepts US military jet ! US Admiral Gortney warns of growing Russian threat. Russian military growing, joint chiefs concerned !
Meh, as it was when I was in tactical aviation 30 years ago it continues today.
It’s all meaningless posturing until you have to leave one of your spy planes in enemy territory and we’ve been there in the recent past with no real consequences.
@Liberal Capitalist: Reading that hammered home how idiotic Republicans have been with this scorched earth policy of theirs for the Obama administration. Krugman could get away with writing the technical accuracy that is, “Any Democrat would try to preserve the 2010 financial reform, which has recently been looking much more effective than critics suggested.” That’s because the “critics” were howling ideological opponents to the idea that there was any need for financial reform compelled to the discussion purely through circumstance. If you measure its promises versus its results so far, one would come away disappointed.
This, by the way, is the result of following those who say we should evaluate our politics by their times and not by some standard we can imagine. (Comparing Obama to the “Perfect Progressive Candidate,” for instance.) They begin to believe the times are all that can measure something. They blinker their own perspective and end up writing contortions like that to feel better about the trade-off.
This is a long way of saying I like Krugman but even he’s engaged inside his biases, and that Republicans are idiots, and that Republicans as a party abandoning sanity is increasingly leading to a “race to the bottom” in terms of political sanity even across the aisle.
@Davebo: Thanks for that. I vaguely remember the infamous U2 Francis Gary Powers incident of the 50’s. Eisenhower turned out to be the right person for the ’50’s: cool, calm, poker faced, and couldn’t be rattled into crazy actions. He also knew all the various machinations, manuevering, and manipulations of the military establishment: the “military – industrial complex”
Eisenhower: “the man who defeated Hitler” (Time)
Any liberal who doesn’t understand the logic of strategic voting for Hillary Clinton as opposed to abstaining for purity in the light of :
The Iraq War and 4400 dead
Justice John Roberts
Justice Sam Alito
2008 financial crisis
is frankly too stupid to live. There really is a difference between a flawed ally and the enemy. Republicans are the enemy. Never forget it.
A President Hillary Clinton will be a centrist who can be pressured to go left. Any Republican President would be either a raving right wing lunatic or someone vulnerable to pressure from the raving right wing lunatics. It’s that simple. Anything else is bullsh!t.
I’ll admit that this is what makes me the most nervous. If abandoning sanity bears no consequences, in fact if doing so gains you control of both houses of Congress, the Democrats may get it in their heads that being completely and utterly unrealistic may be the best course of action for their party to garner the votes of an electorate increasingly prone to fantastical expectations. As a Pragmatist first and foremost, this possibility is profoundly troubling.
Who are you trying to convince here? 😀
I think Jeb has a strong motivation to separate himself from his brother’s foreign policy during the election and, if elected, as president. Obama inherited a “world on fire” as you say, from Bush’s neo-con, policies, absolutely. But I think Obama’s foreign policy will, for different reasons, go down as one of ineptitude and underestimation. If Obama is to have more than a mediocre legacy, it will hinge on his domestic reforms, most obviously Obamacare.
4 people disapprove of me even considering Jeb? It’s like they hear my words and see me hoisting a Jeb sign at the street corner. It’s just WAY too early to tell, and, as usual, nobody is inspiring me. Rand Paul could have had such potential, but he’s a shady kook and totally unelectable, with lots of backwards ideas. I wouldn’t mind a John Huntsman, and I’m interested to see what happens with O’Malley and Chafee. I’m comfortably undecided.
@Liberal Capitalist: Nailed it ? No. Far from it. Krugman tries the same tired line that there is a big difference between the two parties. They are very close to the same, “tweedle dee and tweedle dumb” with only differences that amount to window dressing.
Both major parties are controlled by corporate interests, international financial groups, and powerful policy groups. Most of the issues that are discussed are simply diversions from the real issues.
Oh absolutely! That’s why Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia always vote the same way on Supreme Court cases…