Will Clinton be in the running for 2016 election?

By Vikki Hutton

It has long been whispered that Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and current Secretary of State, will be back in the presidential race for the 2016 US election. Beaten for the Democratic candidate position by Obama in 2008, and working close by in the cabinet since then, Clinton has repeatedly made clear that she will not continue her role into the next four-year presidential term. The question is: What does this decision reveal about her future political plans?

Whilst it has been reported that Clinton’s next move is to take time out from public life, there is no suggestion that it’s the last we will see of her, and there remains every possibility that such a break could coincide with plans to re-join the race for 2016.

Before Obama’s 2008 campaign gained momentum, Hillary was tipped as a clear frontrunner – for both the primaries and general election. In the months before America considered the possibility of its first black president, the topic on everybody’s lips was whether the next election result would place the first woman in charge of the White House.

When Obama became president-elect, he approached Clinton with an offer to leave her former position in the Senate for the Secretary of State role within the cabinet. Initially, she refused, unsure of the implications for her political future. In November 2008, however, the news went public that Clinton had accepted.

Over the last four years, she has travelled more than half a million miles across the globe to strengthen international relations. During this time some of her most notable challenges have included the WikiLeaks scandal and the Arab Spring.

Throughout her service as Secretary of State – during which public polls (by Gallup) consecutively kept her in the top-spot as America’s most admired woman – Clinton has been clear that the position would not exceed one presidential term.

If Romney were to become president, the matter of her replacement is in his hands. If Obama is re-elected, Clinton is not expected to return.

If she re-enters the presidential race in 2016 and is successful, she will become America’s first female president at the age of 70. Although this may seem like a period of life better suited to a slower pace, Clinton would not be the first pensioner to run the country. The oldest serving president to date remains Ronald Reagan, who was 77 by the end of his second term in office.