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Mr President, what about Hillary 2016?
29 January 2013 | 8:02 | Source:
Well, Mr President, you started it by pitching a joint-interview where you would sit alongside out-going Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In fact, it would have seemed impolite not to ask THE question to the Madam Secretary.
So, Hillary… how about a run for the big job in 2016?
But what’s that? The President and Mrs Clinton batted away the query whether she will be a contender for President in 2016.
“Obviously the President and I care deeply about what's going to happen for our country in the future” said Clinton, now a master of diplospeak. “And I don't think, you know, either he or I can make predictions about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next year.
“I am still Secretary of State so I am out of politics,” she added, with a slight touch of humour. “And I’m forbidden from even hearing these questions.”
Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State is all but over after she declined a second term. The job, roughly equivalent to a foreign minister, will now be handed over to Senator John Kerry if he’s approved by the Senate, as expected.
Clinton’s last days in the role, however, were not as she would have wanted to see them out. The attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi last September 11 saw four Americans dead, including her Ambassador to Libya. That incident became a political firestorm during the Presidential election and remained so even last week when Clinton testified at a hearing into the events.
As Republicans attempted to round on her, targeting her role (or lack thereof) in the lead up to the events and those deaths, Clinton flicked the switch to a vintage performance that demonstrated just why her time in politics may not quite be over.
Clinton was recently hospitalised after falling, suffering concussion, that led to a blood cot on her brain. Recovering, she has to wear glasses to combat double-vision. But the fall humanised the 65-year-old whose intense schedule saw her visit 112 countries during her tenure - more than any other Secretary of State in US history.
But what about 2016, right? Would the US follow up electing the country’s first black president by voting its first woman into the White House? One thing the 60 Minutes interview suggested, even if the subjects were a little coy, is that it’s something seriously considered. Vice-President Joe Biden might have something to say about that, though, and so might, on the other hand, a certain Bill Clinton.
But, importantly, so too do Republicans. Speaking last month, in the wake of the Benghazi events that were supposed to have tarnished Clinton and her credibility, former Republican Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich claimed a run by Clinton would be his party’s worst nightmare.
“If their competitor in ‘16 is going to be Hillary Clinton, supported by Bill Clinton and presumably a relatively still-popular President Barack Obama, trying to win that will truly be the Superbowl. And the Republican Party today is incapable of competing at that level.”
Place your bets.