Current Weather
The Spy FM

Every Move She Makes, Pundits Are Watching Hillary Clinton

Filed by KOSU News in US News.
September 25, 2013

When she left the Obama administration, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she just wanted to sleep late and walk her dog. But that hasn’t happened.

The once and possibly future presidential hopeful has thrown herself into the work of her family’s foundation — which gives her the ability to add to an already formidable network of donors. The Ready for Hillary superPAC announced Wednesday that it has reached 1 million Facebook supporters. And Clinton has kept a packed public schedule of travel and speeches, including one Wednesday morning at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting.

“As women have been given or gained the chance to work, learn and participate, their economic, social and political contributions have multiplied,” she said, but “for all this progress, we’re still a long way from the goal of full and equal participation.”

Full and equal participation? As in the first female president of the United States?

Even her most anodyne remarks are examined for possible clues.

Some Democrats lament the fact that Clinton has chosen to keep such a high profile so early, but the fact is, it’s probably impossible for her to do anything else — because, as strategist Geoff Garin points out, everything she says gets a tremendous amount of attention, even if she says virtually nothing.

“The media mania about Hillary Clinton is not going to go away in the next year and a half,” Garin says. “Everything she does and every move she makes will be overly analyzed and probably wrongly analyzed.”

Another reality is the controversies big and small that follow the Clintons like a cloud of dust. There’s Benghazi, of course; the messy finances of the Clinton foundation; a federal corruption investigation into one of her supporters; and the embarrassing spectacle of the failed New York City mayoral campaign of Anthony Weiner — her closest aide’s husband.

But, says former Clinton press secretary Dee Dee Myers, it was ever thus.

“It’s just a fact of life for the Clintons,” she says. “I think that’s something that Hillary has to take into consideration. Does she have the desire at this point in her life to get into the race and have that be the environment every single day, from the minute she declares to the minute she walks out of the White House, should she win?”

And there are past mistakes she will have to learn from if she runs. Her 2008 campaign operation was famously mismanaged, Myers says.

“The campaign was well-noted for a certain amount of dysfunction. She needs to get past that. I think she’ll need a fresh team … some fresh thinking in terms of strategy and tactics,” Myers says. “The world has changed a lot — not in the last 20 years, but in the last eight years. She’ll have to be ready to take advantage of that change, to understand it and to drive it.”

She would also have to avoid being seen as running for a third Obama term or a restoration of the Clinton administration. In addition, says Democratic strategist Tad Devine, she would be trying to do something that’s only been done once in the modern era: succeed a two-term president of the same party (as George H.W. Bush did).

“It’s very difficult for any political party to come forward and ask for a third consecutive term. Particularly in these times, because our politics are so volatile, there’s so much paralysis, people are demanding change in the way Washington works, and usually the only way to achieve that change is to vote out the party in power,” Devine says. “She’ll be faced with that obstacle.”

Keeping herself part of today’s political conversation is important for Clinton. Since she left the administration, she has weighed in on:

- Gay marriage: She’s for it.

- Syria: She supports the president.

- Obamacare: She thinks the Republicans’ attacks will backfire.

But Garin says that’s all background noise compared with Clinton’s much bigger task.

“The most important [thing] for Hillary Clinton is not her role in the political fights of the moment,” Garin says. “What is most important is her take on the future and where the country needs to go from here.”

She has some time to figure that out. But not forever. Clinton will probably need to announce her intentions in early 2015. And then — at 69 years old — begin to explain why she is the candidate of the future, not the past.

One thing she can count on: We’ll all be listening. [Copyright 2013 NPR]

Leave a Reply

2PM to 3PM The Dinner Party

The Dinner Party

Think NPR meets Vanity Fair. In each episode, hosts Rico Gagliano & Brendan Francis Newnam talk with some of the world's most interesting celebrities, and along the way equip you with bad jokes, fresh drink recipes, hot food finds, odd news stories... and etiquette tips from the likes of Henry Rollins and Dick Cavett. It's all you need to get an edge in your weekend conversations. Past guests include Michelle Williams, Judd Apatow, Kid Cudi and Sir Richard Branson. Wallpaper magazine calls The Dinner Party one of the Top 40 Reasons To Live In The USA.

Listen Live Now!

3PM to 4PM The Splendid Table

The Splendid Table

Hosted by award-winning Lynne Rossetto Kasper, The Splendid Table is a culinary, culture and lifestyle program that celebrates food and its ability to touch the lives and feed the souls of everyone.

View the program guide!

4PM to 5PM Weekend All Things Considered

Weekend All Things Considered

View the program guide!

Upcoming Events in your area (Submit your event today!)

Streaming audio and podcasts

Stream KOSU on your smartphone

Phone Streaming

SmartPhone listening options on this page are intended for many iPhones, Blackberries, etc. with low-cost software applications available to listen to our full-time web streams, both News on KOSU-1 and Classical on KOSU-2.

Learn more about our complete range of streaming services

We're perfecting the patient experience - Stillwater Medical Center