Think Hillary Is a 2016 Shoo-In? Not So Fast

Joan Walsh: 2016 would be an election, 'not a coronation'

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 4, 2012 1:50 PM CST

(Newser) – Democrats are fawning all over Hillary Clinton, and right now many seem to think that if she decides to run for president in 2016, her election would be inevitable. Joan Walsh is a big Hillary fan, but she reminds her fellow supporters in Salon today: Clinton would "be facing an election in 2016, not a coronation." If she wants to become president, she'd do well to ignore all the adulation and focus on not making the same mistakes she did in 2008. To that end, Walsh has some suggestions:

  • Don't run as the inevitable frontrunner: Clinton must "find an independent rationale for her candidacy that makes her the best choice for 2016, not for 2000 or 2008." Plus, if she thinks of herself as inevitable, she'll get complacent.
  • Don't represent the status quo: President Obama is popular right now, but a lot can happen in four years, and the US could be ready for a change. She'll need to find a way to distinguish herself from his policies.
  • Do highlight the historic nature of a potential presidency: Clinton could be our first female president, and many of her supporters are energized by that idea. Last time around, she downplayed it.
  • Do think long and hard about a national security stance: National security activists voted for President Obama this year because they figured he was a better choice than Mitt Romney. But in 2016, Clinton will have to defend his controversial policies, including drone strikes and the right to assassinate American citizens.
The bottom line? There are "a lot of domestic and international landmines that could make Clinton forgo the race or else doom her candidacy if she runs." Click for Walsh's full column.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens as she is introduced prior to speaking at the residence of the US ambassador to Belgium in Brussels, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012.   (AP Photo/Kevin Lamarque, Pool)
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