Clinton for president speculation: stop the madness
Yesterday, the chatter was about a Biden-Clinton job swap for 2012. Today, it's about the secretary of state's presidential ambitions in 2016. I wish people would focus on the Democrats in 2010, since a new political landscape might take shape the evening of Nov. 2. But since they're not, I want to put some things out there for folks to consider -- one last time.
There are many variables at play in a possible Clinton run in 2016. The mood of the country is one. If it's anything like it is today, any Democrat at the top of the ticket better watch out. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan should be wound down by then -- or not. Age is another variable. Clinton would be 69 at the time of the 2016 general election. This assumes that some Democratic young gun doesn't come from out of nowhere to scuttle her chances of snatching the party's nomination -- again. But the key variable is President Obama's reelection in 2012. Clinton's chances of succeeding him four years later diminish greatly if he loses.
A Vice President Clinton isn't going to happen. But what does have the likelihood of coming true is Clinton taking over for Robert Gates at the Pentagon when he retires next year. Running the defense department would put her in charge of concluding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Assuming there's a second Obama term, she would have to then continue to make extremely tough and politically dicey budgetary decisions for the agency. The post could make her long for the simple days of negotiating Middle East peace and trading insults with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
But here's the flip-side. As the civilian leader of the military (and assuming she does that job as well as she has done her current job at State), Clinton would put to rest any question that she has the strength and the right experience to be commander in chief in a 2016 run. She could even reprise that powerful 3:00 a.m. ad she used to attack Obama and his presumed lack of experience on the world stage during the 2008 primaries.
In 2016, that ad would be rooted in real decision-making experience -- not by osmosis as a former first lady or a former senator. But like I said yesterday, we're getting way ahead of ourselves. Unless and until she herself -- not some surrogate -- says otherwise, my Clinton 2012 and 2016 presidential speculation is over.
| October 7, 2010; 12:17 PM ET
Categories: Capehart | Tags: Jonathan Capehart
Save & Share: Previous: Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and the problem with political 'news'
Next: Westboro Baptist Church's protected speech
Posted by: staterighter | October 7, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: apez54 | October 7, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: DiscerningCitizen | October 7, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: texasnative46 | October 7, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: wmadden1 | October 7, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: pilsener | October 8, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: sjpatejak | October 8, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: lafemmejenn | October 8, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: CSfairfax | October 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse