Hillary Clinton 2016? Secretary of State Remains Vague About Future

Though less than a week has passed since President Barack Obama won another four years in the White House, political pundits are already speculating about who will make a run for his office in 2016.

The primary name on that list is Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who ran for the presidency in 2008 and lost to Barack Obama in the Democratic primary despite a momentous and nearly successful campaign.

But after quite the productive term as secretary of state, during which time she met essentially every significant leader in the world and saw her approval rating shoot through the roof, which leads her legions of supports to beg Clinton to run for the presidency once more.

She certainly has the qualifications, according to a New York Times op-ed piece by Gail Collins.

"If Hillary Clinton ran for president again, she would probably be the best-prepared candidate in American history: one who's lived in the White House, served in the United States Senate, a woman who knows virtually every head of state in the world and also has a strong opinion about the merits of the Peruvian minister of development and social inclusion," Collins wrote.

But during Collins' interview with Clinton, the former first lady and senator from New York was, as usual, coy about her intentions in four years.

"Clinton gives many variations on the theme of don't-think-so. ('Oh, I've ruled it out, but you know me. Everybody keeps asking me. So I keep ruling it out and being asked')," Collins wrote. "Also a thousand different forms of beats-me. ('I have no idea what I'm going to do next.') What she does not do is offer the kind of Shermanesque if-nominated-I-will-not-run language that would end the conversation."

Despite Clinton's reluctance to give a firm answer now, political commentators are still looking ahead to what a Clinton campaign would look like in 2016, and who her opponent might be.

Some bets are on former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, son of George H.W. Bush and brother of George W. Bush. A new report from Politico said Clinton's and Bush's place in famous political families could make them quite attractive to voters.

Republican strategist Alex Castellanos compared the Clinton and Bush political legacies to a well-known brand like Coca Cola.

"We love our brands - they offer certainty in a world spinning apart," Castellanos said. "The political equivalent of a brand is the dynasty, the Bushes or Clintons. And even if Coke produces New Coke, or Ford, an Edsel, now and then ... we remain loyal. We know and value what the brand stands for ... otherwise, we wouldn't want it rehabilitated."

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