In her first announcement, she sat nestled into a comfortable couch, with family photos in the background. The aim was to make Clinton seem approachable and warm.
But the impression was also one of a candidate who assumed her own inevitability, and took it for granted that she could get through the primary season without breaking a sweat.
"I’m not just starting a campaign, though. I’m beginning a conversation. With you. With America," Clinton said.
Instead, it turned out to be a dogfight - one in which a first-term senator from Illinois with a foreign-sounding name would triumph.
In her announcement video, Clinton also ticked through the issues she would address: bringing the "right end" to the Iraq war, energy independence, deficits, health care. It sounded more like a laundry list of Democratic priorities than a governing rationale.
Most startlingly absent, looking back, was any mention of the historic aspect of her endeavor - the idea that the time had come when a woman stood a real chance of winning the White House. When Barack Obama made his own announcement a few weeks later, he would stand in freezing temperatures on the steps of the Illinois capitol in Springfield, the very spot where Abraham Lincoln had delivered his famous "House Divided" speech against slavery in 1858.
"I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness - a certain audacity - to this announcement," said the man who would become the nation's first African-American president.
Clinton never got a chance to have that "conversation." She instead became the subject of another video - this one an Orwellian parody:
A presidential announcement is a chance to lay the premise for what is to come. Clinton's announcement in 2007 did just that, albeit inadvertently so. This weekend, as she launches a second bid, she may also give a sense of what she learned from her mistakes eight years ago.