Hillary Clinton Launches 2008 White House Bid
After nearly eight years of speculation, Hillary Clinton has announced her candidacy for president.
Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton embarked on a widely anticipated campaign for the White House on Saturday, a former first lady intent on becoming the first female president. “I’m in and I’m in to win,” she said on her Web site.
Clinton’s announcement, days after Sen. Barack Obama shook up the contest race with his bid to become the first black president, establishes the most diverse political field ever. Clinton is considered the front-runner, with Obama and 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards top contenders. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who would be the first Hispanic president, intends to announce his plans on Sunday.
No huge surprise. Still, she has done a remarkable job these past several years getting out of her husband’s shadow, positioning herself as more moderate than previously thought, and garnering bipartisan praise for collegiality and hard work in the Senate.
She’s going to be very tough to unseat as the favorite for the nomination. Her main obstacle, true of all frontrunners, is that all the other candidates will train their fire on her. That especially benefits Obama, who will be able to maintain his above the fray demeanor for a while longer.
She’s apparently going to have a blog, although it’s off to a bad start.
Soon we’ll launch the official blog of HillaryClinton.com, a crucial part of our exciting national conversation about the direction of our country and the place to go to learn more about Hillary.
We know our readers are going to have a lot to say, so we want to give you the first word.
We’re looking for your ideas on how we can work together for change. If you’d like to write the very first guest post on the HillaryClinton.com blog, submit your entry in the form below. And if you already have your own blog or other website, please post your entry there and let us know about it. We’ll select one entry as the first guest post on our blog.
Hmm. That’s one way to run a blog, I guess.
One thing that jumps out at me is that she’s positioning herself as “Hillary” rather than as “Hillary Rodham Clinton” or even “Hillary Clinton.” I’m not sure what that means, exactly, but none of the other candidates are doing the first name thing. The last time I can recall that being tried was when Lamar! Alexander ran.
Other blog reactions:
- Steven Taylor is already tired of the cliches.
- John Little believes “Among Democrats only Barack Obama has any hope of challenging Senator Clinton and it’s unlikely that he’ll be able to derail the Clinton political machine.”
- Bruce McQuain fears we’re in for a “long and tortuous 2 years.”
- Kevin Hayden hopes for more candidates to choose from.
- Steven D has been underwhelmed by her performance as his Senator and is concerned about her vague positioning on the issues and her corporate ties.
- Steve Benen does not “have any doubt that she has what it takes to win.”
The full text of her announcement is pasted below the fold.
I’m in. And I’m in to win.
Today I am announcing that I will form an exploratory committee to run for president.
And I want you to join me not just for the campaign but for a conversation about the future of our country — about the bold but practical changes we need to overcome six years of Bush administration failures.
I am going to take this conversation directly to the people of America, and I’m starting by inviting all of you to join me in a series of web chats over the next few days.
The stakes will be high when America chooses a new president in 2008.
As a senator, I will spend 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.
Only a new president can renew the promise of America — the idea that if you work hard you can count on the health care, education, and retirement security that you need to raise your family. These are the basic values of America that are under attack from this administration every day.
And only a new president can regain America’s position as a respected leader in the world.
I believe that change is coming November 4, 2008. And I am forming my exploratory committee because I believe that together we can bring the leadership that this country needs. I’m going to start this campaign with a national conversation about how we can work to get our country back on track.
This is a big election with some very big questions. How do we bring the war in Iraq to the right end? How can we make sure every American has access to adequate health care? How will we ensure our children inherit a clean environment and energy independence? How can we reduce the deficits that threaten Social Security and Medicare?
No matter where you live, no matter what your political views, I want you to be a part of this important conversation right at the start. So to begin, I’m going to spend the next several days answering your questions in a series of live video web discussions. Starting Monday, January 22, at 7 p.m. EST for three nights in a row, I’ll sit down to answer your questions about how we can work together for a better future. And you can participate live at my website. Sign up to join the conversation here.
I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America, where I learned that we could overcome every obstacle we face if we work together and stay true to our values.
I have worked on issues critical to our country almost all my life. I’ve fought for children for more than 30 years. In Arkansas, I pushed for education reform. As First Lady, I helped to expand health care coverage to millions of children and to pass legislation that dramatically increased adoptions. I also traveled to China to affirm that women’s rights are human rights.
And in the Senate, I have worked across party lines to get billions more for children’s health care, to stop the president’s plan to privatize Social Security, and to make sure the victims and heroes of 9/11 and our men and women in uniform receive the fair treatment they deserve. In 2006, I led the successful fight to make Plan B contraception available to women without a prescription.
I have spent a lifetime opening opportunities for tens of millions who are working hard to raise a family: new immigrants, families living in poverty, people who have no health care or face an uncertain retirement.
The promise of America is that all of us will have access to opportunity, and I want to run a 2008 campaign that renews that promise, a campaign built on a lifetime record of results.
I have never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in or to face down the Republican machine. After nearly $70 million spent against my campaigns in New York and two landslide wins, I can say I know how Washington Republicans think, how they operate, and how to beat them.
I need you to be a part of this campaign, and I hope you’ll start by joining me in this national conversation.
As we campaign to win the White House, we will make history and remake our future. We can only break barriers if we dare to confront them, and if we have the determined and committed support of others.
This campaign is our moment, our chance to stand up for the principles and values that we cherish; to bring new ideas, energy, and leadership to a uniquely challenging time. It’s our chance to say “we can” and “we will.”
Let’s go to work. America’s future is calling us.