Saturday, January 20, 2007

Hat in the Ring

Sen. Hillary Clinton threw her hat in the ring, and is among the front runners for the nomination in 2008 for the Democrats. She's easily the most recognizable of all the prospective candidates for the Democrats, which contains both good and bad news.

Everyone has an opinion on her. Everyone.

There are people who absolutely adore her and think she'd make an excellent president, and others who think she's devil spawn, opportunistic, and far worse.

I know that her aborted health care plan during her husband's administration shows her socialist tendencies, but she has been an outspoken advocate and proponent for aiding Ground Zero workers who have suffered ill effects from their time clearing the wreckage of the WTC.

Across the aisle, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownbeck also threw his hat into the ring. Things on the GOP side are quite intriguing as you have a number of high profile names - McCain and Giuliani running (or expected to run) and a number of lower profile candidates whose positions on major issues are not yet known.

What makes all this interesting is that not only are candidates declaring earlier and earlier, but many of the candidates are coming from the Senate, which isn't exactly an incubator of Presidents. Few are able to make the translation from the Senate - a legislative body - to the Executive branch where a person has to lead.

Clinton gets front runner status because of her name recognition among Democrats with Barack Obama not far behind, while Giuliani and McCain are considered front runners
for the GOP.

Add Democrat Bill Richardson to the list as well. He's currently the Governor of New Mexico and has been ambassador so he has some foreign policy experience under his belt.

Carpetbagger Report thinks that we shouldn't underestimate her ability to win the election. He's right. Problem is that she's such a polarizing candidate that many people have already well-formed opinions of her that may undermine her candidacy. Yet, that will not stop her fundraising capabilities, which are considerable. With a large field and a long time to the primaries next year, Hillary has the advantage with money going in, and will use this time to extend the advantage - potentially forcing lesser known candidates from the field.

One thing that does seem curious is the timing. Why would she choose Saturday morning to go all in? To saturate the talk on the Sunday talk shows? To get attention off the President's State of the State Address next week? Both? Or bad timing? I'm leaning towards the first, with a bit of the second. Of course, this was one of the worst secrets of all time - everyone knew she was running - going all the way back to when she first ran for the Senate in New York in 2000.

Others blogging the ring toss of Clinton and the rest of the gang: Blue Crab Boulevard, Outside The Beltway, Dan Riehl, Sensible Mom, QandO, Blogs of War, No More Mister Nice Blog, Blue Star Chronicles, Hot Air, Liberal Values, Kevin Drum.

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