November 22nd, 2010
10:14 AM ET

Letters to the President: #672 'Hillary in 2012?'

Tom Foreman | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

Reporter's Note: Secretary Clinton says (as she has before) that she does not want to be President. I’m writing my daily letter to the White House (as I have before) saying, really?

Dear Mr. President,

For the record, I don’t buy it. At least I’m doubtful. Okay, I guess I really just don’t know. But when I hear Secretary of State Hillary Clinton say, as she did again this weekend, that she has no interest in running for President again, I can’t help but feel a little twitchy.

If there is any consolation for voters tired of being deceived by politicians it may be that at least you all do it to each other, too. I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard some politician, when asked about seeking a new or higher office, give a rendition of General Sherman’s famous “If nominated, I will not run; if elected, I will not serve.”

The biggest difference is that Sherman meant it, and what many modern pols really mean is “I am not running. At this moment. Probably not before nightfall. I’m testing the waters. Looking for interest. Studying the polls. And if I decide to run later, like say, by 8 a.m. tomorrow, you can’t hold me accountable for saying otherwise.”

Not to make you uneasy, but I could easily see the kind of perfect political storm that would drive a Draft Hillary movement. First, the economy remains weak. Second, as a result, your approval numbers remain low; maybe low enough that you appear headed for a re-election loss. And third, member of your party who haven’t exactly fallen in love with your policies…liberals, many of the Congressional powers, and moderates… decide to join forces to prevent what they fear will an embarrassing defeat, and Bob’s-Your-Uncle, Hillary becomes the candidate.

For the moment, of course, there is nothing you can or should do. You have to take it on face value that she means what she says. But Washington is a city driven by real ambition and false modesty. And it’s worth remembering that sometimes the surest sign that a politician is going to run for office, are the repeated assurances that he or she won’t.

Had a great weekend. Went up to New Jersey for my brother-in-law’s 50th birthday. They had a cake the size of an oil barrel. It was ridiculous and a lot of fun. Did you get out to enjoy the weather at all? I fear the cold is coming, but for now DC is so very nice.

If you have some minutes, give me a call and I’ll come over for a walk.


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (4 Responses)
  1. gianni

    Hillary Rodham Clinton is an extraordinary political.Unites States of america and the world need you, is a source of inspiration for milions of people

    November 22, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
  2. Laura

    I agree with you, Hillary is the only one man or woman ready to be president; Obama and all the republicans are a joke compared to her>

    HILLARY 2012!

    November 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm |
  3. Blue Dog Voter

    Hillary Clinton needs to be president! She is more qualified than almost every other person vying for that Rob job

    November 22, 2010 at 12:56 pm |
  4. Jayden,FL

    Tom I agree with everything you wrote here nice job... Anyways I clearly remember before the 2008 Presidential cycle The Hon. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton denied "rumours" that she was planning on running in 2008 for President.... she said something to the effect of "I like my current job (then Senator)and I'm not interested in any other job than serving the people of New York".. as a Clinton fan I would love to see her run in 2012 and I know if she do she will win period!

    November 22, 2010 at 12:34 pm |