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What Now For Hillary?

I do not ordinarily ponder the fates of major democratic party figureheads, but the saga of Hillary "The Great Khan" Clinton is riveting. Not too many people now seem to recognize just how big an upset it was, when Barack Obama's machine beat the Clinton machine. And from that upset, what can we expect now from arguably the most powerful politician on the planet without a base of operation?

Hillary Rodham first made significant news when she delivered the first commencement address to Wellesley College ever made by a student (1969). That was no accident; Rodham had accomplished many successes as a student, including organizing a two-day strike by black students after the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Rodham was featured in Life magazine that same year, in part due to criticism in her speech of Senator Edward Brooke, who had addressed the students and faculty at Wellesley immediately before Rodham. After Wellesley, Rodham went to the Yale Law School, where she was active in research, free legal service for the poor, the Yale Review of Law and Social Action, and dating a fellow student, William Jefferson Clinton. The couple became increasingly active in politics, and worked hard for the McGovern campaign in 1972. Rodham graduated from Yale with her Juris Doctor in 1973, and a year later was an advisor to the House Judiciary Committee addressing the Watergate scandal - Ms. Rodham was noted for arguing that in the event of impeachment, President Nixon should not be allowed legal counsel.

Hillary Rodham and William Clinton were married in 1975, and a year later Bill Clinton was elected Attorney General for the state of Arkansas. In 1977 Hillary Rodham Clinton joined the Rose Law Firm, specializing in patent infringement and intellectual property law. Also in 1977, President Carter appointed Hillary Clinton to the board of directors for the Legal Services Corporation (created under Nixon to provide free services to those who could not privately afford it). In 1978 Hillary Clinton became the LSC's first female Chairperson, the same year her husband won election as Governor of Arkansas. In 1979 Clinton became a full partner at the Rose Law Firm.

During the Reagan years Hillary and Bill Clinton continued to gain influence and power. In Hillary's case, those years spent promoting her firm and favored organizations to which Hillary belonged, such as the New World Foundation. Hillary Clinton was named to the board of directors for TCBY, Wal-Mart, and Lafarge (Clinton was the first female board member at Wal-Mart).

Hillary Clinton was a distinctive First Lady on several counts. She was the first First Lady to hold a post-graduate degree, the first to have an office in the West Wing, and of course Ms. Clinton was also the only First Lady so far to ever claim equal authority to the President. Hillary Clinton became the first First Lady to see approval numbers drop to 35 percent within the first 21 months of her husband's term.

Following her husband's eight years as President of the United States, Hillary Rodham Clinton was elected as a United States Senator for the state of New York. Despite statements that she was not running for President in 2004, Clinton was widely viewed as a kingmaker, and a key factor not only in John Kerry's nomination as the Democratic Party's candidate, but also in Al Gore's decision not to try for the nomination himself. In January of 2007, Hillary Clinton made clear her intention to win the White House, and as late as October of 2007, Hillary Clinton was well ahead of all her rivals in the Democrats' chase. But somehow the prize eluded her, as first Iowa then South Carolina demonstrated surprising (at the time) strength by the Obama campaign. The race became a two-person contest, then one led by Obama, then a clear victory for the no-experience orator from Illinois. Senator Obama made noises to placate Clinton's millions of supporters, but she faded in the public attention almost to obscurity. There was talk of a subversive movement to throw the election to McCain (on the theory that Clinton would have an open field in 2012 if Obama lost in 2008), but the PUMAs turned out not to be a significant factor in the election.

With the election over and the Administration of Barack Obama about to begin, it remains to be see how Hillary Rodham Clinton will direct her considerable ability and influence. There had been some considered discussion that Clinton would make a good Vice-President for Obama, but bad blood between the two camps made this suggestion impracticable from the start. Other strategists thought Clinton could ask for the post of Senate Majority Leader, but this would allow Clinton an effective veto of her own against Obama's policies, and so this too failed to go beyond early discussions. There is talk now about Obama making Clinton his Secretary of State, a prestigious and powerful position, but not one which any would-be executive covets. It is difficult to imagine Senator Clinton accepting a position where she takes orders from a political rival and who would have the power to fire her any time he chose. But it also raises great speculation, to consider her other options and from them deduce the path where her most likely return to glory and power would wait.


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Comments (18)

Taking the SOS job would me... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Taking the SOS job would mean a certain political retirement for her. She would have to become the mouthpiece for an Obama foreign policy which appears to be contadictory and irractic. She would have to bite her tongue for 4 years, unless she could manuver a major dustup which would give her cover to resign and then run against him in 2012. Otherwise, if Obama was able to survive and get reelected in 2012, she'd have to wait until 2016. That's far too long to be out of power.

She could still become Senate Majority Leader, where she could 'guarantee' that Rahm Emmanuel would not run roughshod over her fellow Dem Senators. Or she could run for NY Governor, then run against a weakened Obama in 2012.

SCOTUS? With Bill and Hill's huge conflicts of interest, both political and financial, she'd be DOA before she'd get a hearing.

I think this was her BEST a... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

I think this was her BEST and last chance to grab the Presidency. She's 61 years old at this point, and unless she can orchestrate a DNC coup, Obama's going to be running in 2012. This means she's got until 2016, at which point she's going to be 69 and her sell-by date's REALLY going to have expired. If McCain's age of 72 was a deal-breaker for some, it's hard to see how it could be spun as a positive.

Could be wrong - but I think she's out of the Presidential game.

"but bad blood between the ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"but bad blood between the two camps"

what is that assertion based on?

Jeez, Adrian, I would have ... (Below threshold)
max:

Jeez, Adrian, I would have thought that DJ's propensity for insulting you by spelling your name like a girl's would have put you in your place by now. Don't you know that you just don't ask DJ to cite sources? For example I'm curious as to exactly when Hillary claimed equal powers to the president, but I would never actually ask DJ for sources. If I did he might call me a name or, god forbid, disemvowel me.

But at least he spelled "Democratic" correctly, even though he forgot to capitalize it. I'm sure it was an honest mistake.

Anything to avoid an uncomf... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Anything to avoid an uncomfortable topic, ehhhh max?

"I would have thought that ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

"I would have thought that DJ's propensity for insulting you by spelling your name like a girl's would have put you in your place by now."

I don't think he does that on purpose and if he does it says more about his feelings about "girls" than anything about me.

I can't see Hillary! playin... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I can't see Hillary! playing 2nd fiddle, doing the donkey work and having Obama get the credit. That's not the Clinton style. She has power in the senate. Yeah, she and Billy really went hot and heavy in the campaign for Obama. If you believe that, I've got some swamp land to sell you. I think Hillary! is still waiting for The Chosen One to veer sharp left. Not having any ties to a failed administration, she'll gladly offer herself as a means to heal the party in 2012. No way can she run in 2016. As the Dems liked to say about McCain. TOO OLD!

What's uncomfortable, DJ? P... (Below threshold)
max:

What's uncomfortable, DJ? Pulling stuff out of your ass?

Drudge is reporting she's t... (Below threshold)

Drudge is reporting she's taking the SoS position.

Guess we'll see how accurate THAT is. If she's going to try to wangle that into a front-running position in 2016, I guess it would depend on how successful his initiatives are.

You know if Hellory does ta... (Below threshold)
Stan25:

You know if Hellory does take the SoS position, she is fourth in line to be the prez. As we all know, she is not above murdering anyone that gets in the way of her plans. What a coup that would be, if she could do away with Obama, Biden and Pelosi in one fell swoop. I know that is just speculation, but stranger things have happened when the Clintoons are involved.

Only the most pedantic idio... (Below threshold)

Only the most pedantic idiot feels the compunction to cite every single detail.

DJ is not a pedantic idiot.

The "bad blood" between the Obama and Clinton camps is legendary to anyone who paid the slightest attention during the primary. And anyone who thinks that all was forgiven and forgotten and the Clintons and the Obamas kissed and made up since is beyond stupid.

J.

How is this different than ... (Below threshold)
Judith:

How is this different than what she has done for years.....take orders from a man and cover for him, she is perfectly trained for that position. When the dems threw her under the bus for obama, tnen sent her out as an attack dog for the poor little darling, what did she think was in her future? Now she is being pimped out for any man (and I am not a man hater) to use....feminists must be so proud of their moment in the sun.

I gave Stan25 a + for the e... (Below threshold)
epador:

I gave Stan25 a + for the entertainment value. I do not wish violence on anyone in the Democratic Party. However, in the Fantasy Administration League, putting her in the line of succession certainly leads to interesting fantasies.

Adrian Browne says,<p... (Below threshold)

Adrian Browne says,

"but bad blood between the two camps"

what is that assertion based on?

Uh, history Adrian

This isn't complicated. There will be an obvious dissonance in a Clinton/Obama relationship. A hard fought primary leaves marks (see: voodoo economics)

These marriages of convenience in politics are easily identifiable: Reagan/Bush, Kennedy/Johnson (Kennedy/Hoover) and Eisenhower/Nixon.


A UK paper is reporting tha... (Below threshold)
Bob:

A UK paper is reporting that Hillary will take the SOS job. That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing - better than the arrogant puke, J.F. Kerry. Hillary is not in bed with the loony left when it comes to national defense and would be earning enormous foreign policy cred. The bio DJ posted is pretty impressive and she's got a huge ego to motivate her. No matter who get the job, BH0 will still be calling the main shots. Let's give her a chance to prove her mettle.

DJ,That's the best... (Below threshold)
jaymaster:

DJ,

That's the best bio of HRC I've read.

An efficiently distilled summary of her unarguable accomplishments.

And you left out the negative stuff!

Props, dude...

Stepping out on a limb here... (Below threshold)

Stepping out on a limb here....Hill will be much better than Madeleine Albright.

In foreign policy matters Hillary pays attention when it counts. Albright, not so much.

But as we have seen with the SOS office since Reagan, it's not so much what you can do as what you don't give away.

Here's to Hill just raising some hell. Let the Special Forces take it from there.

"For example I'm curious... (Below threshold)

"For example I'm curious as to exactly when Hillary claimed equal powers to the president, but I would never actually ask DJ for sources."

Oooh. Oooh. Pick me!

"We are the President."

Now do what you normally do; ignore it and carry on with your usual crap.




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