Scenarios of a possible presidential run

The watery, icy expanse of Lake Michigan under a sunset sky.  A pink building glows on the horizon.
At dinner the other night, a friend told me she’d read that if Hillary says nothing this month, that means she’s running.

Ah, yes; Hillary, who by dragging her feet is not doing any favors to her party.  If she doesn’t run, the decrepit condition of the Democratic party—with respect to both leadership and ideology—will become obvious, handing the Republicans a win.

If Hillary does run, the Republicans with the best shot at defeating her are Jeb Bush or Rand Paul.  Some people recoil from the prospect of another Bush presidency.  Yet others view Jeb as his own man, someone who’s competent and familiar, yet refreshingly new as a national figure. He would pull masses of moderates—both Republican and unaligned—back to his party.  Rand Paul could poll well with both wings of his party, while drawing off disaffected liberals whose concern for certain forms of freedom and whose desire to rein in an overactive and over-militarized state the Democratic Party has ignored for decades.

While many older Democratic ‘skirts and suits’ consider Hillary unbeatable, at this point the idea of a Hillary presidency has gone very stale. We’re tired of it already, and she hasn’t started running.  She is great presidential material, but the timing for a run is unpropitious indeed.

Hillary will be particularly vulnerable if she goes unchallenged in the primary.  I’ve seen articles seeking to discourage Elizabeth Warren from throwing her hat in the ring.  Observers fear that Warren will weaken Hillary’s support while exposing Hillary’s vulnerabilities.  Warren’s sudden (and I believe short-lived) ascendancy exposes the strength of popular frustrations that the prevailing centrist brand of Democracy has been ignoring.  For that very reason, Warren’s candidacy would strengthen the party and Hillary’s chances, by triggering a much-needed internal dialogue and influencing the positions that Hillary would carry into the general campaign.

Hillary merits the admiration and respect she enjoys today.  Can she kindle within herself the fresh ideological vision and spark of political genius that the country needs?

A feather in her cap, or a fire in her belly?


A feather in her cap, or a fire in her belly:

Such are the twin engines of a possible Hillary run.

They won’t both fire, though; only one.

If appetite consumed her, she’d have made her decision.

If a feather is her motive, she’ll surely lose.


Mrs Clinton is on tour promoting her book Hard Choices
published by Simon and Schuster.