Yesterday's announcement that Hillary Clinton is "In it to win", throwing her hat into the 2008 presidential race, wasn't much of a surprise. Hillary has been visibly preparing herself for such a challenge even before her husband Bill left office in January 2001. And while she may not end up being the woman I cast my vote for by the time we get the opportunity, we are happy she's stepped up, and hope she gives it her all.
After six years of George W. Bush and company delivering plenty of shock and none of the awe to Americans everywhere, the country voted emphatically for change in the 2006 mid-term elections, pushing Democrats into congressional power. With Iraq spiraling further into chaos, and the Republican minority scuttling away in scandal and illegalities, that push for change will hopefully continue. And for once, the Democrats are flush with good candidates with serious name recognition, from John Edwards and Barack Obama to, now, Hillary Clinton. If all those running can remember that their real foe is already sitting in the White House, and not one of the other candidates, the party will have the best chance at success, no matter who emerges the victor.
As mentioned previously here, the more I learn about Hillary's background, the more impressed I am. While she may be the most reviled individual in the history of the conservative right, she has stood her ground and been unafraid to take controversial stances for the good of the country. The prospect of having both her and her husband back in the White House, surrounded by intelligence actors for change, is thrilling - especially when contrasted with what we've sickeningly grown accustomed to.
I'm also pleased that the issue of Hillary being a female candidate might not be the headline issue of a campaign. Hillary's announcement is more than a token to the feminist movement, but one that stands on its own merits. With Obama setting a similar mark on race, rather than gender, both should be interesting proof points to see if America can move beyond its white male Protestant dominated world - one that recently said Republican candidate Mitt Romney was doomed for being Mormon, as approximately half said that alone disqualified his candidacy. It's time for the voters to focus on issues and vote for those they think can move the country forward and out of the pit we've been dug into for six very long years.
Good luck Hillary. We will be eagerly watching and waiting to see if you can convince us that you are the right choice. (More: Daily Kos, The Atlantic)