Hillary 2012?

S. E. Cupp makes a convincing case for a Hillary Clinton presidential run in 2012:

Just as I’ve taken issue with some of the liberal attacks against Sarah Palin, I challenge conservatives to acknowledge that Hillary is exactly the kind of woman – accomplished, intelligent, successful and self-made – that we should encourage our daughters to look up to.

Since becoming secretary of state, she’s stayed out of the political weeds, doing serious work with diligence while most other cabinet members – Janet Napolitano, Eric Holder, Timothy Geithner, Kathleen Sebelius – have been tarnished by their involvement in unpopular and controversial political fights over health care and the economic stimulus package.

While many on the right have been successfully using Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and Obama for archery practice, Clinton is one of the few big-name Democrats who doesn’t have her fingerprints on any of the left’s domestic failures.

And more than merely staying out of trouble, she’s even had some key victories. She was instrumental in persuading Obama to send more troops into Afghanistan, defeating Vice President Biden in an internal debate on the matter. She convinced 33 other governments to toughen their position on allowing Cuba back into the Organization of American States. She saved the signing of the historic Turkish-Armenian accord.

There’s a lot of truth here, particularly the fact that Hillary has said nary a word about President Obama’s highly controversial domestic agenda. By refraining from partisan cheerleading, she has managed to keep the stink of most of the Administration’s messes out of her hair.

There’s no doubt in my mind that this is the result of very careful planning. Hillary is extremely intelligent and shrewd, and she is married to one of the most savvy political operatives in American history. Both Clintons are ambitious, and (as illustrated by Chelsea’s diamond-crusted wedding) they still have many extremely rich and influential friends.

I was as surprised as anyone when “Nutroots Fever” swept Barack Obama through the Democratic primaries. Perhaps the party threw its full weight behind Obama because he was the most effective and inspiring salesman for its big government progressive agenda to come along in decades. But now that he has proven himself to be the most out-of-touch and uninspiring (and politically toxic) President since WWII, it’s a good bet that many Democratic leaders are already looking for someone else to lead the party.

That won’t be an easy job, because the new Democratic leader will first have to salvage what is left of the Congressional Democrats after the beating they will take in November. They will need to be organized, and new leadership installed. Then they will have to concentrate on keeping control of the White House. All of this will require political skill and leadership experience that is far above our current Chief Executive’s pay grade — but not out of reach of the mighty Clinton political machine.

2012 will indeed be an extraordinary year for American politics.

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