Memory can be short. Those who stood shoulder to shoulder with Hillary through the brutal 2008 primary campaign tend to be more circumspect about what a campaign would entail, how it might roll out, and the degree to which Hillary's current sky high poll numbers might hold in a campaign setting. Ironically, among some of the louder and more self-assured voices are those who assaulted her most viciously in 2008. On his Sunday show yesterday, Chris Matthews stated with all the certainty in the world that "Hillary Clinton has given every indication that she is running..." which, of course she has not and has taken pains to avoid. At counterpoint to this is Jim Rutenberg in yesterday's New York Times who actually took the trouble to speak with Hillary's spokesman Philippe Reines and exuded no such certainty. It is not a stretch to imagine Matthews and his ilk to be dangling her out there as a pretty, candy-filled piñata waiting to be bashed once again when the new flavor of the month arises. Who that might be I leave to speculation, but judging from responses to my tweets and Facebook posts a particular name proliferates. True Hillary loyalists must regard current endorsements and their sources with a glance in the rear view mirror and a healthy dose of skepticism.
The only credible news is that Hillary Clinton will speak twice this week. Tomorrow in Washington D.C. at Kennedy Center for the annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards and again on Friday at Lincoln Center in New York at the annual Women in the World Summit. Her first official paid speaking event is scheduled for April 24 in Dallas. Despite a rally scheduled for tomorrow evening outside Kennedy Center and promoted by the Ready for Hillary SuperPAC, it is most unlikely that what we will hear her say will have anything to do with running for president. It is far more likely, as reflected in Kathleen Parker's excellent piece in Newsweek for Women in the World, that we shall hear her directly address the question of how her initiatives for women, established under the the auspices of the State Department, will continue now that she no longer occupies her State Department post.
Aside from a summary of how her agenda remains underpinned at the State Department, it seems realistic to expect an announcement of some private initiative on her part to continue addressing women's issues on a global basis. At both of these events she will have no dearth of strong women leaders from all over the world surrounding her who surely would join any campaign she embarks upon to advance the causes - the many causes of women - from education, to security in sending one's children to school, to human trafficking, to marrying whom one chooses, to running businesses and running for political office.Can the Hillary Effect sustain itself without the Hillary? ( Thomas Whiteside/Jed Root )
The Hillary EffectThe Hillary Effect has spread across the globe. But how well will it last without Hillary at the helm?
While the next presidential election remains years away, daily, in many cultures, child brides are promised like chattel. Assuredly, Mme. Secretary timed her marriage equality video for release prior to last week's SCOTUS arguments, but the message resounds more broadly than the LGBT community, and women, who drive economies, who are the growers, makers, students, educators, and shoppers have their greatest impact when they are free rather than subjugated by fathers and by husbands they have not chosen. That aspect of marriage equality, the full equality of citizens, and its implications for women and girls is likely to arise among the many issues confronting women in the world today.
No, it is not likely that Hillary Clinton will have an announcement about a presidential campaign when she emerges from behind her curtain this week, but there is certain to be a campaign nonetheless. There will be a platform, and as is always the case with Hillary Clinton, there will also be a blueprint for building the social structure she conceives.