After the State Department, what next for Hillary Clinton?

An Economist interview suggests a possible run for the Oval Office in 2016

As is customary for all secretaries of state, Hillary Clinton will only serve for one term. By all accounts, she’s done a remarkable job and shown enormous grace, having landed the position after a fierce battle for the U.S. presidency with her current boss, Barack Obama. Americans certainly back her performance. A Bloomberg poll last fall showed 64 per cent of respondents have a favourable opinion of Clinton, and a third think the country would be better off had she been elected to the presidency instead of Obama.

This week, The Economist looks into Clinton’s legacy with a long piece in the print edition and an interview with its Washington bureau chief, available online.

From the article:

Not until the archives are opened will historians know reliably what big issues, if any, she and Mr Obama fought over. But on most big decisions there has been little cause to fight. She and the president had a shared view of America’s global predicament after George W. Bush left office. She says now that it was “painful” when she started to make her phone calls to hear how much perceptions of America had changed. There is self interest in this: her husband preceded Mr Bush. But in Asia in particular allies were anxious about the superpower’s willingness to stay engaged. It was time to bring some “old-fashioned balance into our relationships”.

The newspaper explores what’s next for the current secretary of state, hinting at a possible run for the Oval Office in four years time:

Whether she will run for the presidency again, nobody outside her inner circle can know. (…) But when the election of 2016 arrives she will be 69; no older, she can tell herself, than Ronald Reagan at the start of his presidency. In the meantime, says one of her supporters, the “Clinton network” remains in existence, ready to be activated. The temptation to reach again for the top prize in politics will be hard to resist.




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After the State Department, what next for Hillary Clinton?

  1. Seems to be a “no-brainer” that HIllary will run in 2016.

    • Touché

    • Just like it was a no-brainer that Sarah Palin (in 2012), Al Gore (in 2004/8) and Colin Powell would run? Or how Brian Tobin or Frank McKenna were going to be our next Prime Minister? I think there is a good chance that Clinton will go for it, however, the odds aren’t perfect. Consider some possibilities/factors:

      1. 2016 may be a bad election year for the Dems – sure she could win the nomination, but would she want to?
      2. Once a divisive figure, Clinton now has a statesmanlike image. Entering the partisan echo chamber would endanger that image.
      3. Through the Clinton global fund, she can already wield considerable influence – without the constraints of being a politician (like Al Gore with his global warming work). 
      4. Hillary is only human. She (or Bill) may experience health problems that preclude her from running. 
      5. What about scandals? Are the finances of the Clinton global fund sound? Will Bill (or Hill) be caught with his (her) pants down? Mitch Daniels avoided running largely because he didn’t want his wife’s affair to make national headlines. 
      6. Then consider who else is running. If Obama were defeated in 2012, he might run for the nomination again in 2016. Clinton may not want to go through that kind of tough primary fight again. 
      7. Could some aspect of Clinton’s legacy as secretary of state come back to haunt her? 

  2. She’s been quoted in the past as saying that once her term as SoS is done
    she will be getting out of politics all together. Can’t say I blame her.

    • Do you still believe in the tooth fairy?

      You must not forget her hunger for power displayed in the race against Pres. Obama. It exists to this day.

      • But she may have been desperate precisely because she viewed that campaign as her last shot at being president, therefore meaning she had nothing to lose by going negative/hanging on till the end 

  3. While I have had long periods in which I admired Rodham Clinton, in the end she’s a bit too Machiavellian for me.  However, I do think that she (and Bill) should continue to be in positions where their counsel is sought by future presidents.   Both Clintons are super intelligent, and intelligence is too often spurned by the American electorate, i.e., one never knows when the US is gonna go for another moron like Dubya.

    • While I am certainly no Democrat, Hillary would have been hands down, a better President than the current occupant of the White House. This man has destroyed more in 3.5 years than any President in the history of the country.. I disagree that Dubya is a moron. I think he was an above average Prsident but was certainly not a conservative stalwart. Dick Cheney would have made a far better President IMO.

      •  I won’t argue with the view that she would have been a better president than Obama.  I agree with David Frum (for the first time in my life) that Obama is over his head.  But Hillary’s promise to annilhilate Iran was a bit too Bushlike for my taste — especially when most Americans have no idea that the quarrel is about far more than enriching uranium.

        As for Dubya, I’m not saying he was without political shrewdness, just completely lacking in anything that would qualify as real intelligence, much less wisdom.

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