Feature

Hillary: Why she’ll run in 2016

Clinton’s approval numbers are through the roof, and she’s already in “high political gear.”

There can be no doubt about it, said David Remnick in NewYorker.com. “Hillary Clinton is running for president.” With the path to the 2016 Democratic nomination wide open, Clinton’s approval numbers are through the roof, and she’s already in “high political gear.” At a Washington conference on the Middle East this week, the soon-to-be ex-secretary of state addressed an adoring crowd of dignitaries who swooned over a slickly produced video about Hillary’s achievements. It all felt like “an international endorsement four years in advance of the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.” She can partly thank the Republicans for her glowing reputation, said Steve Kornacki in Salon.com.Republicans spent the past four years bashing Barack Obama as a liberal extremist, and comparing him unfavorably with Hillary and Bill Clinton, whom they’ve been praising as torchbearers of a “better, more moderate, and compromise-friendly Democratic Party.” 

Don’t crown Hillary yet, said Jim Geraghty in NationalReview.com. She will be 69 years old on Election Day 2016, and, if elected, she’d be the second-oldest president after Ronald Reagan. After four years of constant travel as the nation’s top diplomat, she admits to being exhausted, and “does look a bit run down.” All that hard work, meanwhile, has not produced a “historic diplomatic success” akin to Henry Kissinger’s opening of China, said Kenneth T. Walsh in USNews.com. Her record at State, from Benghazi through Afghanistan, will be closely scrutinized if she becomes a candidate. Still, Hillary has legions of admirers and a huge fundraising machine. So the question becomes whether she wants it or not. 

To answer that question, look at the choices she’s made over 30 years of public service, said Stephanie McCrummen in The Washington Post. She reached across the aisle in her two Senate terms and quickly buried the hatchet with Obama after she lost the nomination. Through “a thousand lesser-known efforts,” she has shifted the State Department toward “a more effective and modern American diplomacy.” Like her husband, she’s a tireless policy wonk who’s championed causes large and small: a milk co-op in Malawi, clean cook-stoves in China, global women’s issues. Hillary is, at heart, a “quietly optimistic Methodist who believes that government can advance human progress.” As president, she would have unparalleled power to promote her goals and her vision. How could she possibly resist?

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