My quick assessment on today’s announcement from Hillary Clinton that she is indeed running to be elected president in 2016, is that she’s taking pages from Obama and that’s a good thing. She’s focusing on making sure she meets and connects with as many individual voters as possible and outwardly indicating a priority for doing so. From the Washington Post:
The absence of Clinton in Sunday’s announcement video is designed to send a message — not just to people tuning in now but to people who have been watching her (and her presidential aspirations) for the better part of the last decade.
That message? This time it’s not about me. It’s about you.
A video is just that: A single, pre-produced element of a campaign. But the message Clinton is trying to send is crystal clear: This isn’t 2008. And I am ready to run the people-first sort of campaign I should have run last time around.
Ultimately, the candidate wins with 50% plus 1. Clinton and her team know that’s all she needs. Let those who want to exhaust themselves with all the Beltway inside stuff go ahead and do that; there’s still 15-16 months before the DNC convention, then another four months before November 2016.
Meanwhile, the Republican field will remain in disarray and incapable of being able to pull together enough voters who will 1) come out and vote and 2) come out and vote for the GOP nominee so that he or she wins. The McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan campaigns described a too-narrow America and so far, no GOP candidate has emerged who could do better. If Clinton isn’t damaged now, to the point of not being the contender she is, it’s extremely difficult to imagine that there are more things to learn that would disqualify her over the next 20 months.
In sum, Hillary Clinton’s momentum will only increase, her accumulated familiarity will serve her and the electorate, and this re-introduction today, after all else that’s transpired since she was First Lady, will only help not hurt her.