Democratic Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton embarked on a widely anticipated campaign for the White House today, a former first lady intent on becoming the first female president. "I'm in and I'm in to win," she said on her Web site.
Clinton's announcement, days after Sen. Barack Obama shook up the contest race with his bid to become the first black president, establishes the most diverse political field ever.
Clinton is considered the front-runner, with Obama and 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards top contenders. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who would be the first Hispanic president, intends to announce his plans on Sunday.
Everyone expected Clinton to wait a few more weeks, but Barack Obama, with an announcement that he had filed papers to put together an exploratory committee, was starting to hog the spotlight. Obama was also getting a jump on fundraising.
Like Obama, Clinton may find that it's a lot easier being a frontrunner when you haven't announced. Barack Obama's already enjoying the attention of the right wing BS machine.
In his January 17 column for The Hill, headlined "Obama's First Blunder," Fox News analyst Dick Morris falsely attacked presumptive presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) for voting against "a Senate reform banning the increasingly widespread practice of legislators hiring their family members on their campaign or PAC [political action committee] payrolls." As Media Matters for America noted, Obama actually voted against a motion to table, or kill, the amendment. In a January 17 entry on The Hill's Pundits Blog, Morris acknowledged that he had been wrong, retracted his allegations against Obama, and apologized to the senator for his "mistaken reading of the record." Nevertheless, several media outlets republished Morris' column or cited it as fact, including The Washington Times and the Statesman Journal of Salem, Oregon, which quoted and republished Morris' column on January 18 -- the day after Morris retracted the column.
Clinton, for her part, has already experienced some BS for herself. FOX's Susan Estrich -- the supposed house liberal -- asked if Katie Couric's bad ratings meant the country wasn't ready for a female president. Apparently, these two things have something to do with each other. I can't really explain how, though...
Both democratic frontrunners -- Clinton and Obama, handpicked by the media, for the most part -- will stumble. No one has ever run a flawless campaign. They'll both screw something up and there will be a huge crowd of pundits yelling, "See? We told you so..." Being the frontrunner means you get run down for crap that doesn't actually matter -- Dukakis in the tank or the 'Dean scream,' for example. The media builds up and the media tears down.
Personally, if I had to choose any dem candidate's shoes to be in right now, It'd be John Edwards. Polls put him third behind Clinton and Obama, while steadily closing.
Luckily for Edwards, this hasn't translated into a lot of early press. Obama and Clinton may find out that the fishbowl isn't the best place to campaign.
Technorati tags: politics; elections; democrat; 2008; Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton may come to envy John Edwards' lack of media scrutiny before the year is out