One can only imagine the sound, something like air being let out of a helium balloon, should Hillary Rodham Clinton announce in the beginning of 2015 that she isn't running for president. Most can't for a moment fathom that scenario playing out.
One who can't is the new host of Meet the Press, Chuck Todd, who said on his inaugural show, "She's running." Maybe he's connected to her by a soup can like in the Progresso commercial. The only luminary on the Meet the Press panel who thought she wouldn't run was Joe Scarborough and he often likes to be obstinate.
The press has had a love-hate relationship with Hillary since she first appeared on the scene giving the graduation speech at Wellesley in 1969. But love her or hate her, they can't get enough of her. Whether on TV or in print, they know that talking about her will get them airtime or a front-page story. Since she was a young woman, what Hillary says gets attention.
There is an overwhelming feeling one gets from people in all walks of life and all political stripes that her time has arrived. She will finally overcome the haters and doubters because enough people recognize she is the real thing. Her in-depth understanding of both the United States and the world will leave no one questioning that she is the right person, as a TV ad once claimed, "to answer that 3 a.m. phone call."
Hillary wrote a sobering piece on the state of the world in her Washington Post review of Henry Kissinger's new book, World Order. While complimenting Kissinger she made clear it was on his understanding of the world as it is today, very different from when he was secretary of state. She wrote, "It's no wonder so many Americans express uncertainty and even fear about our role and our future in the world. In his new book, 'World Order,' Henry Kissinger explains the historic scope of this challenge." She continued, "His analysis, despite some differences over specific policies, largely fits with the broad strategy behind the Obama administration's effort over the past six years to build a global architecture of security and cooperation for the 21st century."
Hillary presents herself as one who won't back away from the challenges the United States faces and understands that as the only remaining superpower in the world we can't allow the new isolationists in our country to keep the United States from acting to protect our homeland and make the world a safer place. She clearly defines what she means by acting when she describes her view of "Smart Power." She makes clear it is not always rushing in with troops but using all the levers a President has at her disposal with military action being the last resort. But one understands she wouldn't shy away from using military force when necessary.
A few days before the review appeared in the Washington Post, Hillary keynoted Senator Harry Reid's (D-NV) energy conference in Las Vegas. One can often judge the correctness of her ideas by those who attack them. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) chastised her for correctly saying, "Climate Change is the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face as a nation and world and the data is unforgiving no matter what the deniers try to assert." Paul, who shows a lack of understanding of global and world issues, attacked her for this on Fox news saying, "I don't think we really want a Commander in Chief that's battling climate change instead of terrorism." Paul, one of the leading lights of today's Republican Party doesn't understand what the role of President is which may be because he can't actually see himself in the role. One in which as the saying goes, "you must be able to walk and chew gum at the same time."
All we need do is read the headlines of the past few weeks -- from ISIS, to Israel, to Syria, to the drought in California, to Ferguson, Missouri, to the Ebola epidemic -- to understand that our next president will have to focus on a myriad of issues at the same time, all of them usually presenting as a crisis. We need someone who not only understands that but is up to the challenge. Hillary Clinton has demonstrated she is ready on both counts.
Over the next few months Hillary will do what she has said all along she needs to do before announcing and that is bring into focus her vision for the future which she will do in a series of speeches and appearances across the nation.
She will stand side-by-side with Democratic candidates who are running in 2014 and will shine a light on them. The pundits must be careful not to judge the result of the vote for a candidate she stands with purely based on her having been there. Hillary will help to draw attention to them but we know in the end people vote for the person they trust and trust has always been difficult to transfer. Bill Clinton managed to make a difference for President Obama in 2012 with his brilliant Convention speech but in the end it was Barack Obama who had to make the case for himself.
The Republican Party already understands when Hillary is the candidate in 2016 she will make that winning case for herself. She will share her vision for a better future for America and show that she has the wealth of knowledge and experience to make it a reality. There isn't anyone in the Republican Party that has even been hinted at as a potential nominee that can match her in the scope of her experience or brain power.
As we move toward early 2015 it appears that a Hillary Rodham Clinton candidacy for president is becoming inevitable.