There is another silly political story line involving Hillary Clinton that drives me nuts. This one involves her secretly plotting or thinking about a run for the presidency in 2016 despite saying repeatedly that she wants out of politics. “Hillary supporters start pushing for 2016” is the latest offering in this genre.
Aaron Blake at The Fix reports that recent comments by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell and Bill Clinton have fans of the current secretary of state abuzz that she will throw her hat in the ring in four years. But the story itself has a quote from an unnamed aide from Clinton’s 2008 campaign that serve as a giant asterisk.
“No one knows — least of all Hillary — if she will run,” said a top 2008 aide granted anonymity to speak candidly. “When the time comes, she will think about it, obviously. Why anyone would bring it up now? People just can’t resist trying to be the first with the answer.”
I really wish people would resist. As Clinton said recently, she’s been on the high wire of American politics for two decades. A high wire that is underneath the most intense microscope in the world. And no woman in American politics has been scrutinized in minute detail more than the former first lady of Arkansas and the United States, former senator from New York and serious contender for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
At a speech in India last month, Clinton made it clear that she wanted off the merry-go-round. “I would like to come back to India and just wander around without the streets being closed,” she said. “I just want to get back to taking some deep breaths, feeling that there are other ways I can continue to serve.” I have never been to India, but I know enough to know that empty streets is not the real India. Why must we continually demand that Clinton live a life that she has been telling us for at least a year she wants out of?
So, let’s make a deal, folks. Let’s actually believe Clinton when she says she is not running in 2016, does not want to run in 2016 and would rather be an “unbearable grandmother” who continues a life of public service in an arena that doesn’t involve her sitting in the Oval Office. While Clinton has a right to change her mind, I would have even more respect for her if she didn’t.