Is a 2012 Clinton 45 Win Unthinkable?

Hillary Clinton would make a formidable 2012 presidential opponent running against any of the current crop of likely GOP candidates. Maybe that's why so many of them are keeping their powder dry, so far.  They're waiting to see what she does.

Political intelligence can be, like military intelligence, an oxymoron. (This I learned in both venues.) The two crafts are not dissimilar. Each collects and examines shards of possible evidence; rates the veracity of each piece; searches for connections; tests each against an unfiltered range of suppositions; sprinkles in magic dust made from the ground-up intuitive glands of a dozen woolly worms; and then glues together a propositional urn that, they hope, holds water.  But, all too often, it holds nothing. Think WMD's in Iraq.

With that avowal in place, imagine the world turning toward a Democratic Party 2012 presidential primary where Hillary Clinton challenges Barack Obama, one more time.     

A September 10, 2010, American Thinker article entitled "Hillary Clinton's Campaign for '12 Is Underway" posited that "Hillary's campaign for the Democrat nomination for president in 2012 began last June 8 [2010], when, during an interview with an Ecuadorean television reporter, she announced the Department of Justice's plan to bring a lawsuit against Arizona's immigration act."  Lately, signs have surfaced to keep that notion alive.

First, though, let's review Hillary's stated plans beyond the office of Secretary of State (SoS).  On December 3, 2010, according to Reuters, she said,

"I think I'll serve as secretary of state as my last public position and then probably go back to advocacy work, particularly on behalf of women and children."

William Tecumseh Sherman once said he'd rather spend four year in prison than four in the White House. But that was just Uncle Billy being candid. We ought to take Hillary's stated disinterest in a higher office at its particular face value -- it means nothing, particularly when prefaced with "I think."  She could change her mind. When she ran for a second Senate term in 2006, that office had an implicit finality about it, too. 

Furthermore, several things have changed since she became SoS.  For one, her approval rating has risen considerably. According to a recent Gallup poll,

"Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's favorable rating from Americans is now 66%, up from 61% in July 2010 and her highest rating to date while serving in the Obama administration. The current rating is just one percentage point below her all-time high rating of 67%, from December 1998."

As the New Socialist Democratic Party projects an increasingly leftist image, most notably to those moderate swing-voters coveted by both parties, Hillary has remained detached from what moderates allegedly perceive as partisan bickering between the left and the right. (Never mind that partisan bickering began with Jefferson v. Hamilton and never stopped.) Consequently, Hillary is positioned to emit the fragrance of compromise with the Rodney King bouquet of "Can't we all get along?" amidst the scent of a woman..."It's her turn!"

Next, factor this in: In the drama that preceded the U.S. military intervention in Libya, the media promoted the image of a Hillary growing impatient with Obama's dithering as the nation awaited President Godot to return from S. America and do something...decisive.

Hillary, White House Advisor Samantha Power, and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice were heralded as the three musketeerettes who successfully lobbied Obama for aggressive U.S. intervention in Libya. Hillary got the lioness' share of the kill credit.

That eventually fed into MSNBC's Chris "Tingle Leg" Matthews' slobbering comments following Hillary's March 18th comments concerning Libya.

"Well that's the look at Hillary Clinton, Commander in Chief. Didn't you get the sense that she was president? I'm not knocking it! Didn't she look strong? She looks like she knows what she's doing. She doesn't want to have Gaddafi there five more minutes. The President is operating a balancing act, which doesn't have as much stir to it. She seems to know what she's doing. "I'm getting rid of Gaddafi!" She much more hawkish. At least a couple notches, right?"

Stir in the curious rumor that Samantha Power is being considered as the next SoS. (Who's promoting her, and why?) The pro-Hillary website HillBuzz labeled Power as an "ultra-leftist." You may remember that Power resigned from the Obama campaign after she was reported to have called Hillary a "monster."  

Meanwhile, John Philips of the Los Angeles Times came close to calling on her to run in 2012.

"Despite her contemporary denials, Hillary would only throw her hat in the ring if she thought she had a better than even chance at moving back into the White House. Obama is looking weak, but not weak enough to justify a primary challenge...yet.

If Libya turns into a full blown disaster...resulting in billions of dollars wasted, boots on the ground and abysmal public opinion numbers, my money is on Hillary resigning her post as secretary of State and jumping in the 2012 primary."

Then there's the memory of that decidedly derisive gesture Obama directed toward Hillary during their battle for the 2008 nomination. Perhaps she holds a grudge. Perhaps the sun will rise tomorrow.

Except for those moments when she's center stage, where she's often been during the Libyan drama, Hillary has seldom displayed the demeanor of the Happy Camper.

So, are we to accept her stated plan to finish her four-year stint as SoS, and then do advocacy work for woman and children, whatever that means? Or, might Obama's poll numbers sink to a level where she hears the bugle call "Charge" and makes one last run to be Clinton 45?
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