Hillary Clinton Nearer White House Victory
|If there was candidate in this year's U.S. mid-term elections, whose popularity was put to test, then it is Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, wife of former president Bill Clinton. Not only because she is fighting for re-election as New York's senator, but more so because it is now an open secret that she intends running for the White House come 2008. As a former first lady, just this contemplation has attracted a lot of media attention around her.
Mrs. Clinton passed the litmus test, defeating Republican challenger John Spencer by a landslide margin of 67 percent against 30. Theoretically, her re-election is the beginning of her presidential campaign. That sentiment could be deduced when she addressed the crowd that turned up to celebrate her victory.
"Last week the vice president said regardless of the outcome the administration would go 'full speed ahead' in the same direction," Clinton told the boisterous crowd of her supporters in New York.
"Well, I think that the American people have said 'Not so fast.'" She added. Nevertheless, she fell short of mentioning the presidential ambition.
Spencer conceded defeat, and praised Clinton for what he termed a "key victory." He blamed his defeat on lack of sufficient funds.
"We didn't have the gunpowder, which was tens of millions of dollars to back up our message," said Spencer.
Mrs. Clinton, so far remains the most active of the U.S. first ladies in politics. Even as serving first lady, she wielded much political influence, and exercised enormous informal powers in the White House throughout her husband's two terms. This was thanks to her exceptional intellectual ability and legal background as a former lawyer.
She was even amusingly nicknamed by some American press as "Vice President Hillary Clinton." She was credited for the example for assisting in the adoption of many liberal policies in government (recruitment, health care...), and in the appointment of liberal thinkers and women into high offices.
Mrs. Clinton set her political opinions straight from the very beginning of her husband's mandate. Although constitutionally, the president's wife has no official role, concretely or unofficially this is far from the truth. If a first lady has the intelligence and charisma she can judiciously use it to attract support for a course of action she wants the government to support. Mrs. Clinton did just that.
Beyond her husband's mandate, she had her own political ambitions to take care of. At the close of her husband's presidential mandate in 2000, she ran for the post of Senator, in the state of New York and won, becoming the first first lady to contest the post of senator.
But her politican ambitions were far from over. Instead, the confident Mrs. Clinton is even dreaming of higher political office. Her eyes are now set on the White House.