Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Hillary Clinton has earned the right to do whatever she wants in her quest to help people

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If Hillary Clinton wanted to be Secretary of State for four more years, she could. She might even be a candidate for the post under a Republican president.

If Hillary Clinton wanted another post in the Cabinet, she could have it. She could even take her pick of what that would be.

A friend of mine asked me if the rumors were true that Joe Biden would not run on the ticket in 2012, so Hillary Clinton would take over. I told him that likely wouldn’t happen. But if she wanted that, who knows?

Regardless of whether they supported her in the presidential run of 2008, people look to see what Hillary Clinton will accomplish.

Clinton is not the first female Secretary of State or even the first Democratic female in that post. She would be the first female VP and/or president.

But in her remarks this week, Clinton doesn’t seem to want to do anything that might appear to be structured in the traditional power roles. This has thrown off the perception of Clinton’s career. Her path since 1983 has been First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, U.S. Senator from New York, presidential candidate with the second most primary/caucus votes ever in the modern era, and Secretary of State.

But Clinton doesn’t want a position with the trappings of power. She wants to orchestrate change from the outside looking in.

So what has made Clinton change her path?

Clinton has done a very good job as Secretary of State, but people thought even then that Clinton’s strengths lie in domestic issues. Ironically, as her husband did well on domestic issues during his presidency, he has scored more points on the international stage.

Even as Hillary Clinton will not be a part of the presidential race in 2012 or presumably 2016, Clinton may be seen as a kingmaker, or queenmaker, in 2016. Her followers from 2008, and there were a lot of them, will look to see who she likes in 2016.

Clinton has said she does not want to run for president in 2016. She will turn 69 just before Election Day 2016. While age may be a factor in men running for president (Reagan, McCain), women might have an advantage at that age.

But if the GOP prospects aren’t sure if they are running for president in 2012, no one will know if they want to run in 2016. This isn’t to say Clinton is not being forthright. Just that nobody knows now what the future holds for anyone.

We are much more certain that Joe Biden won’t run for president in 2016. If Obama wins, there won’t be a front-runner in the Democratic Party. If Obama loses in 2012, there will be a four-year scramble to be said front-runner. After all, the Democratic candidate from 2008 with the third-highest vote total is John Edwards.

Hillary Clinton has earned the right to do whatever she wants in life. And she is interested in working on making the lives of people better, something she was very much known for in her work before becoming a First Lady. There aren’t too many politicians, regardless of gender, who can make their own path. Hillary Clinton is one of those people. The fact that she is a woman makes her a trailblazer for future generations of females looking for a way to improve the lives of the people.


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