2012, 2016… Will Hillary Clinton run again for White House?

The Rasmussen Reports survey shows that 57% of voters feel Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president. As for President Barack Obama, 51% say he is fit for the job. Will she challenge him?


1. The difference between Clinton and Obama is definitely not significant. But anyway can you think of some reason why people could prefer Clinton over Obama (at least to some extent in this poll)?

2. Do you see any chance Clinton will challenge Obama in 2012, any scenario under it could happen?

3. Hillary Clinton is the Secretary of State. Would you say she has some political ambitions for the future?


Taylor Dark, Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, California State University, Los Angeles

1. The reason that the polls show that result is primarily a certain amount of disappointment with the results of the Obama administration.  While some achievements have occured, including passage of a major health care reform, major problems remain: high unemployment, growing budget deficits, lack of global warming legislation, etc.  The most important issue is the failure to truly revive the economy.  Obama is increasingly getting the blame for this, so it is natural that some people think of Hillary Clinton as an alternative. If the economy improves markedly, the poll results will change.

2. The only scenario in which this could happen would be a major scandal directly relating to President Obama, or some catastrophic mistake by him that reduced his approval ratings to an extremely low state.  Neither is likely.

3. It is very hard to say.  I have no doubt that she would like to be President, but as I have noted, it is extremely unlikely that she would challenge Obama in 2012.  Therefore, that leaves 2016, and she will be about 70 years old then — a bit old to run for president.  However, if she is in good health, my guess is that there is about a fifty percent chance that she will run in that year.

Barbara Perry, Professor of Government, Sweet Briar College

1.  The simple answer is that Secretary Clinton is not president.  Therefore, she does not suffer the blame for the economy and the oil leak.  In addition, she nearly won the Democratic nomination in 2008, and she is very popular among liberal women.  Finally, she always works extremely hard and is a very intelligent person.  Note that she was among the few Obama advisors not criticized by the U. S. Army officers in Afghanistan. She is popular beyond America and is a role model for many women abroad, having crusaded for gender equity at home and around the world.

2.  If Obama’s popularity slips even more severely, she might be persuaded to run, though I think she is a loyal team member now.  The historic precedent would be Sen. Edward Kennedy’s challenge to weak and unpopular President Jimmy Carter in 1980.  Kennedy failed, however, to get the nomination.  Reagan defeated Carter.

3.  Hillary and Bill Clinton will always be ambitious for power, though I think they have come to peace with the fact that they will never again live in the White House.  Moreover, Hillary would be in her mid-60s for the 2012 election.  She has said that she would like to retire and live a more sedate life (perhaps teach) before she is too old to do so!

Cary Covington, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Iowa

1. People often prefer someone who isn’t in a job to the person doing the job.  In sports, you often hear complaints from fans who have a player who sits on the bench that they prefer to one of the starters.  Since the player on the bench can’t make mistakes or fail to live up to the fans’ aspirations (and the starter can and inevitably does), the fans wish the substitute would play instead of the starter.  Does that make sense?  In the U.S. we have a saying: ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’.  It means that you think something you don’t have is better than the thing you do, but the person who has the thing you prefer thinks what you have is better.  So Clinton is preferred because she is a hypothetical president who respondents think would do things the way they prefer.  Of course, if she were president, they would probably be wishing Obama were president.  In other words, there is only wish fulfillment going on here, no substance.

2. Not a chance.  Ted Kennedy challenged jimmy carter in 1980, and his campaign created such animosity within the Democratic Party that it virtually ended any chance he had of running in the future.  Besides, economic conditions are likely to be so bad that Clinton would do better to wait for 2016.  Of course, by then people will think she’s too old.  So there’s no real likelihood that she will ever run for president again.

3. Many people wonder that.  Since she left the senate to become secretary, she’s probably left elective office behind.  I don’t see her as a state official, like governor of New York.  She’s more likely to follow the path of her husband, and advocate as a private citizen for issues that she believes in.

William Benoit, Professor, School of Communication Studies, Ohio University

1. I know some people are disappointed in Obama’s performance; I’m still  surprised his numbers aren’t higher. Also polls have a sampling error so his “real” numbers could be higher  (or I admit, lower) than the poll numbers show (and Hillary’s could be  several points lower – oh higher- than the poll.

2. I do not think she would challenge Obama unless his popularity was VERY  low-that would be seen as far too disloyal – especially given that he  made her Secretary.

3. I think she will very carefully consider running in 2016.


15 Responses

  1. If Hillary runs in 2012 she will win the nomination and the general election. Obama has no chance of serving two terms. People who use old elections to justify what will happen in the future need to rethink their analysis. If Hillary does not win the Democratic Nomination I will be voting for the Republican. Many people are still angry about what happened in the Democratic primary of 2008. Obama only won because people didn’t want Bush. Now there is absolutely no reason to vote for Obama. He is polarizing and snake bitten. An endorsement from Obama is a guaranteed loss for a Democrat that wants to win any election. What good is Obama to the Democratic Party?

  2. Hillary can win.
    As an independent she splits the vote and that is too risky.
    If she faces down Obama she splits the party and scars fester.
    Obama she pass her the torch…step down for the democractic good.

  3. The time for Hillary is now…there is no disrespect in her challenge for candidacy as her appointment by Obama was more or less a token olive branch .
    Hillary would rekindle the independent vote…undoubtedly and emphatically.
    Age would be too much of an element in 2016.
    I am an independent voter and the republicans have completely turned me off by sitting on their hands for strategic objectives while the country was on the brink of disaster.
    The tea party is using the same tea bag for three cups of weak tea just as a medium to ventilate and showed their instability by paying Sarah Palin to speak ……they would have been better advised to pay her to shut up.
    The republican party has reached such a low Newt Gingrich looks like an innovator.
    As far as the employment situation the same old neglect of tending to illegal aliens or cheap help, take your pick…..is only superseded by the exportation of jobs to foreign labor mills this matter hasn’t even made front page news until the Governor of Arizona was chastised in main by a body of Hispanics and tree huggers with deluded ulterior motives.
    By the way;
    Guess who has the most cooperation applying for government assistance?a working middle class citizen that has worked and paid taxes votes and served in the military or a green card foreigner applying for welfare who has been here just long enough to meet government requirements…yes the later shame on our system.
    This country is a melting pot but every race that came in earned their place here….so far we have been insulted with forced acculturation by by a race of people that make up less than 15% of our tax base. I am not prejudiced to any nationality but more at odds with the faction of the political system that undermines and intentionally damages the middle class with biased formulas creating an unnecessary burden of taxation on the backbone of this country to support illegal non taxpaying workers enabled by big business.
    Turn offs from high ranking Mexican officials first came in the response to Hillary’s sought after cooperation to combat illegal drug trafficking to which The Mexican Government responded it was as much our problem for being on the side of demand in a a poor format of a supply and demand issue, a degrading downplay involving such a social sickness being unleashed on our society.
    And secondly the issue of double standards on how they expect us to receive their illegal immigrants in direct contrast to the way they deal with their own problem, their policy condensed was that the first time they caught a violator they where deported and the second offense was jail time and without much of an agenda to care for foreign prisoners
    God only knows the transgressions that transpired.

    I’d back Hillary ….and by the way if you haven’t guessed I really don’t look to Rush Limbaugh for sound factual political reporting….he’s not even a joke anymore.
    Please… to the moguls that are monopolizing multiple media mediums, whether TV , radio newspapers,magazines ,etc.
    The American people are tired of the spin game based on the foundation that if you tell a lie enough times people will believe it.
    We see what we see we suspect what we don’t see we’re very tired of the tail wagging the dog and contra-re to Marie Antoinette’s sardonic sarcasm we really don’t even want to eat cake.

    • I agree with you 100%. I keep telling people if you tell a lie
      often enough we soon believe it, and the world jumps on it because they want to believe in something good or bad…This
      country will follow anyone, any day, for any reason….It is like being led by the Pied Piper. Most of the News Media is to blame.
      We would not have Obama if it had not been for the news media,
      and all fo the blogs in the internet…Everyone that knew how to turn on a computer got in on the action…..I am an independant, more of a moderate then anything. I backed Hillary Clinton, but felt dooms day before it happened because no one wanted a woman for president…..She has been praised as a wondeful
      Sec of State….She gives her all….and I don’t think she will run unless she knows this time she willl win for sure….T U

      • What an awesome thread you wrote. I have been saying the
        same thing since she stopped running..She took a lot of flack
        and I for one was sick over it….I have not liked the way things have gone, and I have said from day one, that Obama was to young to be our president. The people spoke…People want instant results these days, and our country was in such a mess from Bush that it would take more then 4 years to fix. Hillary would make one heck of a president…I love her, and if she does not run, I understand….but she is the only one that can get this country up and running again.

  4. hillary please run again, I am a rep. that will vote for u

  5. […] “The difference between Clinton and Obama is definitely not significant. But anyway can you think of some reason why people could prefer Clinton over Obama,” writes the blogger Matisak. […]

  6. As a (hopefully) political astute Australian who just finished watching a “town hall” she ran here, I have to say I’d vote for her. She seems more astute and level-headed that Obama ever did and has a solid reputation.

    I follow US politics closely and I think she has the balance right between distance and closeness to Obama and has had all the time since her loss to him.

    I wonder if he might be astute enough to pass the baton onto Hillary. before 2012.

  7. I really hope Hillary Clinton will run in 2016!
    We like Obama but we yearn to Hillary’s clear and decisive ways! Obama doesn’t stand up enough. We need a strong leader like Hillary Clinton. Please in 2016!!!!!

  8. Hillary we need you in 2016!

  9. i worked from morning til night,walked door to door.i handed pamplets,out.i talked to people.i took public speaking in high schoool,for what ?my dad said you never know when you could use it.i used a class i had taken years ago.i had done goten to the agwe of fifty now.i was called by hillarys canpaign manager.mr. michael i see here you are a democrate,”yes”can i be blunt ,forward and ask u where s heart at with hillary.i am so fired up .it wasnt a black or white thing.i just knew in my heart that hillary and bill love to see america happy ,and prosperous.the clintons was suppose to have won this election ,but there were too many out side forces ,like the one world order gang,oprah winpry,it was a night mare.the clintons was a shoe in,but we all knew there was too many strange billionairs to put a stop to allowing the clintons back in .i knew in my gut ,these two lovely americans should have already been running this country.i just dont know if she would even take the job even if they gave it to her.those are two very smart cookies .i felt like i was insulted because i knew how darn smart mrs. clinton was.she very articulate.i tell you this country insulted two of the brightest minds we have ever had in years.i knew america would grow to regret this decision.the years that a person are there best are in there prime.you have me as a team worker.i love
    america and it might not be too late .yes you can count on me if you need me.i think donald trump loves the clintons enough to through his hands in there.god bless america and the clintons.lord bless these people if they will still run .i hope and pray we have not insulted them.lord help us.amen

  10. It seems to me that Hillary Clinton is the only one who will pull me out to the voting boot. Give her a chance to make history and move the country to a better situation.
    This is the logic: If Obama is now trailling both Hillary Clinton and Perry or Romney. He would loose anyway, why not Hillary Clinton ?.
    Hillary Clinton will beat both Perry and Romney.
    If Hillary is nice as “not running against Obama, her President”, that is a huge mistake. “Wise is more important Nice”. The country needs a wise President, not a nice and soft one.
    Hillary Clinton, go run for President, you are the top now.

  11. I have never gotten over the last election…Yes, Hillary run~~~~
    I do believe that the American people are ready now for her….
    she has proven her worth time and time again…
    Sorry Obama, I did not vote for you because I felt you was to young…and my feelings were correct….We do not need young blood in the W H only exprerience….

  12. Forget 2016! We need Hillary NOW!!!

  13. I see some old posts on here from me…Yes, I would love to see Hillary run..
    She is the only one in the past few years that could bring this country back and for all of the dooms day on the media I believe someone can and she can and is able…HERE IS MY BUTS….The media will tare her apart as the republicans will also…Will she put her self out there again only to be crushed like an empty can….I have always loved her for her inteligence and witt….You would be getting two for one with Bill Clinton…She has been in the public for so many years now, I think it is time for her to take a break…She has done a remarable job as S of S…She looks tired…
    I am sure she would love to do this….but also she knows that it will split the party…and she is an honrable democrat and she would not do anything to hurt the party….

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