It is the burning political question on everyone's mind -- no, not "Who's John Galt?" -- but rather:
Will Hillary Clinton run?
Many people take it as a foregone conclusion that Clinton will run for President in 2016. Hillary had loads of support in her 2008 primary run, which many see as only being derailed by a popular swell of support for Barack Obama. Since then, Clinton joined Obama's cabinet as Secretary of State and now enjoys widespread support among centrists and progressives.
Some see signals in Clinton's activities and behavior that indicate that she is prepping for a run. For example, during her 2008 primary battle, husband President Bill Clinton had said some things that alienated the Clintons from the African-American community. In recent months, Hillary has been making the rounds of black churches and organizations in what some see as a conciliatory move to ensure that a Clinton once again secures the black vote. And it is working. Her approval numbers in the black community are rising fast. They see her as someone who took her defeat at the hands of Obama and turned around to join his team anyway.
Another hint came from Bill Clinton himself in the form of a recent tweet. In a light-hearted poke at the Hillary-with-sunglasses memes that have been so popular, Bill posted a photoshopped image of himself in the same picture, but with an oversized tablet. But it was his tweeted message that stuck out to some:
"I'm following my leader."
I'm following my leader! pic.twitter.com/aubau3Eeng
— Bill Clinton (@billclinton) April 1, 2014
Bill Clinton has always kept mum about whether or not Hillary will run, even back before the 2008 race. But he always says, "I don't know if she is running, But if she does, she'll make a great President."
Hillary's own Twitter account positions her as "Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…"
And it is that "TBD" that keeps folks on the edge of their seats.
Now Hillary herself has once again been asked publicly about her intentions. According to Reuters, Hillary was speaking at a marketing conference when she was asked outright about running. An interviewer challenged her:
"What's your plan? Are you going to do it? You can announce it here if you'd like."
In a reply that she must leave home prepared with every day, Hillary replied:
"I am obviously flattered and deeply honored to have people ask me and people encourage me. And I am thinking about it, but I am going to continue to think about it for a while."
But she went on to tell how this was not just a decision based on whether or not she thinks she can win, but whether or not she thinks she could actually effectively work in today's political environment.
"Part of it is because the hard questions are not: 'Do you want to be president? Can you win?' The hard questions are why. 'Why would you want to do this and what can you offer that could make a difference?'"
NBC News reports that she commented on things that she saw happening in Washington as Secretary of State.
"I would be the first to say we're having a political period of, frankly, dysfunction. I saw it from afar when I was secretary and it was disheartening and even embarrassing to see people arguing about letting us default on our debt, really, and things that were just so beyond the pale."
But she also drew what could be seen as a pre-campaign comparison between herself, her party and her opposition.
"You had to ask yourself what kind of country do they really want. ... What is their plan? What is their vision? So if you're going to compete in this arena, you have to be able to put forth your purpose and vision."
In the end, it still remains to be seen. But if Clinton does not run, she will be intentionally walking away from an incredibly fertile opportunity to do so.
Image via Wikimedia Commons