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Hillary is still a superstar
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At the Clinton Global Initiative in Chicago, an interviewer asked Bill Clinton, "Before I let you go, any chance that we might see another Clinton in the White House?" The audience chuckled and the former president got an impish look on his face.
"Chelsea's still too young," he grinned.
It's no joke, though, the Clintons are a powerhouse couple. Separately, Bill and Hillary are each worth millions of dollars; together, they have a joint foundation, which they can use to promote public policy initiatives if they choose. Right now, Hillary Clinton is far and away the leading presidential candidate for 2016 -- so much so that it's assumed the Democratic Party convention will be a coronation.
The Republican Party establishment has wasted no time attempting to weaken Clinton. It's a given these days the earlier one can smear the opposition's front-runner, the better. Although Republican Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee investigating Benghazi, denied Clinton was "a target," a lot of political potshots were aimed at her. They missed.
After the Clinton Global Initiative event, The New York Times noted that "Mrs. Clinton appeared alongside her husband, Bill Clinton, in a crowded ballroom (in Chicago) and left little doubt that she planned to reclaim the political stage she exited more than four years ago to become the nation's top diplomat."
Even when she launched her long-championed cause of helping children, it was dissected for evidence of Clinton being the 2016 Democratic nominee for president. The Daily Beast ran an article by Mark McKinnon, a Republican who worked on George W. Bush's 2004 campaign, titled, "Why I'm working with Hillary Clinton now."
Wrote McKinnon: "Folks on my side of the aisle will say it is heresy to be working with Hillary Clinton. Fortunately, at this stage of my life, I don't care."
Long before she was first lady, Clinton worked with the Children's Defense Fund. Her new initiative, Too Small to Fail, will fund scientific research on early childhood intervention, focusing on behavioral changes. The goal, of course, is large-scale: to give all children of the next generation a chance to succeed.
It is awfully early to be taking about an event three-and-a-half years away when so much can happen in the upcoming 2014 midterms. Bill Clinton concluded his answer about another Clinton in the White House by saying, "I don't know what Hillary's going to do, but whatever it is, I expect to support it."
Maybe we also should simply support Hillary's fine initiative. Or even follow it, by focusing less on idle speculation and more on helping the next generation get a firm foundation during early childhood. And we can give Clinton a breather to think about 2016.
Donna Brazile is a senior Democratic strategist, a political commentator and contributor to CNN and ABC News.