Over and over again we’ve heard, “I’m not running.” Supporters wouldn’t be assuaged. The incumbent president is failing, the country is careening toward another recession and the public is losing faith in government. In such circumstances, why shouldn’t Hillary Clinton run?
She’s got 100 percent name recognition in her party, flocks of loyal donors and the invaluable experience of having run for president once before. President Obama’s domestic disaster is not her fault, she can honestly say. And now she does not have to invent foreign policy experience (her success rate is another matter, of course).
This notion would have seemed absurd up until a few months ago. But the same factors compelling New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie to reconsider on the Republican side should provoke some self-reflection for Hillary on the Democratic side. She may be the only candidate with the star power and following to take on Obama, and hence the only hope her party may have to prevent an election debacle and repeal of their precious and her long-sought health-care reform.
Actually, I’m a little surprised that the Democratic donor community, respected party elders and key opinion makers in the media haven’t done more. The idea of a Christie run sure didn’t start with him — it was the product of changed circumstances and plenty of pleading. So where are the devoted Hillary voters? You’d think they would be cajoling and visiting with her.
Now, it’s risky for elected leaders to openly oppose their incumbent president. But Hillary has her own donor base and media fan club. Where are they? It seems they’ve fallen down on the job, passively accepting a likely Obama wipeout.
In her concession speech on June 7, 2008, she said this: “I entered this race because I have an old-fashioned conviction that public service is about helping people solve their problems and live their dreams. I’ve had every opportunity and blessing in my own life, and I want the same for all Americans. And until that day comes, you’ll always find me on the front lines of democracy, fighting for the future.” So why hide behind the lines?
More to the point, it seems that her supporters, who along suspected Obama was in over his head, owe it to their party and the country to at least ask her. You never know. People change their mind all the time.