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 has the official announcement in both text and video form at her site.

Hillary Clinton Launches 2008 White House Bid

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.

Hillary for President Banner 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.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Len says:

    Good for her!

    The thing we should be celebrating, however, is that just two years from today our long national nightmare (and embarrassment) will finally be over.

  2. Len says:

    Oh… and the “first name” thing…

    I can’t think of too many people running for president whose spouses served as president before them.

    She could say “Clinton for President” but then people would think that Bill is running again.

    She could say “Hillary Clinton for President” or even “Hillary Rodham Clinton for President” but then the banners would be too big. Besides, both of those sound rather formal and uppity, dontcha think?

    No, I think “Hillary for President” just about hits the right note and an attack on her for using her first name is an attack from a mighty weak position.

  3. floyd says:

    A BAD sequel to a terrible horror film “CLINTON II”…”SHOCK & JAW”

  4. Knowing your audience is half the battle. The other half is crafting an honest, relevant content. I like the honest voice and and think the launch of her website was a smart move. read more at http://joannapenabickley.typepad.com/

  5. Rodney Dill says:

    The thing we should be celebrating, however, is that just two years from today our long national nightmare (and embarrassment) will finally be over.

    Oooo, an early prediction that Hillary’s gonna lose.

  6. James Joyner says:

    an attack on her for using her first name is an attack from a mighty weak position.

    It’s not an attack, just a note that it’s rather curious. The Bill/Hillary thing is a factor, to be sure, but then George W. Bush was also separated by eight years from the presidency of George H.W. Bush.

  7. Anderson says:

    The “Hillary can’t win” bit is already starting up on the left. Which annoys me as a dodge of the question, “if Hillary can’t win, then what Dem can?”

    [Crickets chirp. Crazed voices cry “Obama!” and “Edwards!” Crickets resume.]

    If Hillary can dish out as good as she gets, I think she may win.

  8. floyd says:

    Of course she can win, don’t overestimate your neighbor’s intelligence!

  9. David L says:

    Mrs. Clinton has aaid she wants to have conversation with Americans. I say hold her to her promise. Let us have a conversation about Waco, Janet Reno, Elian Gonzales, Whitewater, Paula Jones, Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Wiley. TWA flight 800, the late Vincent Foster. Let us talk.

  10. Bithead says:

    My, my. Looking rather some are like outside her New York home, where she recently taped her announcement, isn’t it. Run the vid, and look out the window.

    She taped this, when, again?

    BBCT: Mark Finkelstein over at Newsbusters

  11. Bithead says:

    Arrgh. Correction;

    Looking rather summer like

  12. ken says:

    Hilary is smart. She is a hard worker, a quick learner and has good judgement. None of this can be denied.

    Hilary would make a better president than any Republican and many Democrats.

    Can she win? Sure she can win. And, if she runs as smart a campaign as her husband did she will in fact win.

  13. anjin-san says:


    Bill is a much smarter politician then Hillary. She is mearly very bright, while he is pretty much chain lightning. If she listens to him, she is playing a reasonably strong hand. I am not sure her ego will let her do so…

  14. Eneils Bailey says:

    To paraphrase John Edwards:

    “If you nominate Hillary Clinton as the Democrat Presidential candidate, Obama will get out of his free ride and walk away.”

  15. Rodney Dill says:

    Hilary is smart. She is a hard worker, a quick learner and has good judgement. None of this can be denied.

    Actually a lot of that can be denied, especially the judgement part (whitewater, vince foster, universal health care debacle)

    Hilary would make a better president than any Republican and many Democrats.

    Again, No. She’s heavily in the mold of tax and spend and will now push for cut and run in Iraq.

    Can she win? Sure she can win. And, if she runs as smart a campaign as her husband did she will in fact win.

    Unfortunately she can win, after the country voted in Bill for eight years, and strongly considered Al and John Kerry. She doesn’t have the charisma that her husband has, that might be the one saving grace for the Republicans. She’s definitely an opportunist, that is counting on winning. She made here announcement on the date she intends to take office, so she can announce “two years ago on this date.”

  16. ken says:

    Rodney Dill, your attack on Hilary shows only that you are not very smart, are a slow learner, and have poor judgement. Do I really need to educate you, and will it do any good, about these empty attacks on Hilary?

    Whitewater, Vincent Foster? Where is the scandal with those? The American public knows those were just phony issues used by partisan right wing nuts to capture media attention. Nothing more. We know that those who bring these issues up are less intelligent than the rest of us.

    Universal Health Care? Everyone is for that now. On that issue alone she could win the White House.

  17. Uncle Pinky says:


    I am not “for” universal health care. I am somewhat smart and a quick learner. I will admit to poor judgement. I will also wait to see how “Hill ’08” pans out before joining a fan club and ad hominem-ing.

  18. Ken, maybe taking your blinders off would help in comprehending what Rodney wrote. I saw no attacks, just the statement of some facts and some opinions. Or has dissent been demystified when it comes to your sacred cow?

    Telling people who may disagree with you that they are stupid and evil reveals much more about you than them.

  19. Derrick says:

    Charles, Ken’s statement wasn’t about substantive disagreements about Hillary. His comment was about made-up charges and conspiracy’s that have no relevance to Hillary as a candidate. You want to rip her for politics, her husband, her time as First lady and even her Universal Health Care, fine. But, there is no disagreement that Whitewater amounted to nothing, that no, the Clintons were not murdering cabinet officials despite what the National Enquirer says and I don’t know what the hell the Hillary had to do with Elian Gonzales and Waco. If you are serious in your criticisms with her fine, but its going to be one pitiful race if all we hear is about McCain’s “black” love-child and Hillary sniping Vince Foster from the “grassy knoll”.

  20. Rodney Dill says:

    I’m smart enough to know not to buy into the statements of liberals when they start using phrases like —
    “None of this can be denied.” or
    “Everybody knows that …” (yes, I know you didn’t use the latter in your comment)

    I am also smart enough to know how to spell Hillary.

    However, I’m probably not smart enough to know to quit when I’m ahead.

    case in point. It doesn’t matter if everyone is for universal healthcare now or not. It currently is not ‘politically’ defined again. Its like asking if everyone is for breathing or not. In the Clinton era it refers to Hillary’s faulty plan.

  21. This is like wrestling with pigs. Winning doesn’t mean much and you end up covered in mud and smelling like pig sh*t.

  22. Patrick says:

    “Universal Health Care? Everyone is for that now.”

    Good God what an ignorant comment!

    Socialized medicine which is the reality behind the “universal health care”, would be a disaster for USA. We dont need Canada-care and we dont need Democrats’ tax-more regulate-more and destroy market mechanisms ‘solutions’. The Hillary 1994 Plan would have been awful, thank goodness it was deepsixed, and the current Democrat plan to destroy market mechanisms in Medicare drug benefits is bad, and the repeated calls for ‘universal health care’ is a siren call for puttin one seventh of our economy on a fully socialistic footing.

    Phooey to it all. It stinks. It will make us sicker and poorer as a whole. Health care is outrageously expensive today because of decades of such wrong-headed political mishandling incrementally making things worse in the name of ‘health care for all’. If we want to go for real 21st century medicine, listen to the solutions of Newt Gingrich, and or look at this proposal, Health care CHOICE Act:

  23. Patrick says:

    “Hilary is smart. She is a hard worker, a quick learner and has good judgement. None of this can be denied.”

    Let me deny it.
    1. Hard worker? Spent her life in politics – grasping and ambitious yes, but compared to a typical America who’s had to work through College, take 2nd jobs to pay bills, etc. … Nope.
    2. ‘quick learner’ She votes against extending Bush tax cuts even after they proved effectiveness ingrowing hte economy. She a a clueless slow learner on economic reality.
    3. Good judgement? Guffaw. the ‘smartest woman in America’ was the last woman to figure out her husband was lying about an affair?!? Come now, if she cant see through that, how is she going to see through the bluffs of the North Koreans, etc.?!?

    Her relationship with Bill got her on thrid base and she thins she hit a triple. The announcement video was faux-Oprah. I bet it works great for the frustrated-women demographic, but to me its as phony as, er … her husband.

    Voting for Hillary is like voting to live with your mother-in-law for the next 4 years. My dialog to her would be: “Hillary, Go Away!”

  24. Patrick says:

    “But, there is no disagreement that Whitewater amounted to nothing”

    Hmmm, insider dealings and political coverup of a $50 million S&L scandal hit to taxpayers that got several people jail time and/or convictions. Not ‘nothing’! Now, maybe not as big as Clinton’s favors regarding sale of technology to Chinese firms (via Clinton donor Loral) or his quid pro quo with trial lawyers when he vetoed litigation reform (money given the same day as veto), or letting Johnny Chung into the White House, … but just a small example of Clintonian corruption and a failure of a ‘zero tolerance’ policy wrt it by the media and public.

    Time and again we see that Democrat politicians seem to survive corruption scandals while Republican politicians’ careers end abruptly (and rightly so) when faced with corruption charges.
    Democrats seem to tolerate corruption in their party leaders a lot more than Republicans do.

    The many scandals and instances of corruption in the Clinton White House can and will be a legitimate issue in Hillary’s run for President.
    I however, dont think it will make the big-money donors to Hillary to flinch one bit … THEY KNOW WHAT THEY ARE BUYING WITH THEIR DONATIONS.

  25. Patrick says:

    “The thing we should be celebrating, however, is that just two years from today our long national nightmare (and embarrassment) will finally be over.”

    … ONLY IF HILLARY LOSES… but I’ll take that as a prediction that she will.