President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were interviewed together on the CBS program 60 Minutes last night. After Obama made a statement of support for Hillary Clinton in her job as Secretary of State, the interview invited speculation that Obama might be favoring Hillary for President in 2016 over his loyal Vice President Joe Biden. Just days after the inauguration of President Obama to a second term in office, the speculation about who will run in 2016 is already in full force.
Four years as secretary of state has worked wonders for Hillary Clinton and her future ambitions to run for president. Clinton retains strong support from Democrats while gaining more Republican support and solid support among independents that she didn't have in the past. Hillary has gained a much stronger bipartisan and less partisan image while having a perception of being more qualified and prepared to be president after serving as secretary of state. At age 65 now, Hillary would be 69 in 2016.
Few doubt that Joe Biden, who ran for president in 1988 and 2008, would like to run yet again in 2016 if he has the chance. After eight year as vice president, many would expect the president to support Biden. The baggage Biden is viewed as carrying, including his 1988 run for president and the plagiarism allegations that ended it, and his failed bid in 2008 might just be too much to overcome. Additionally, Biden was viewed as unstable in his performance in the 2012 vice presidential debate with GOP running mate Paul Ryan. Joe Biden is currently 70 and will be 74 in 2016.
By choosing Massachusetts Senator and 2004 Democratic nominee for president, John Kerry, as the new secretary of state, President Obama might be creating another interesting dynamic. Serving four years as secretary of state might just well rehabilitate Kerry's presidential ambitions as many perceive the job has done for Hillary Clinton's presidential ambitions. Kerry, who is age 69 as of now and will turn 70 by the end of this year, has wanted to be president for just about all of his adult life. No one who harbors that ambition for that long and wants to be president that badly, gives up the ambition easily. For those raising the age issue, Kerry is younger than Biden and a few years older than Hillary.
While it remains early to speculate, it is easy to see the possibility of the three way race for the Democratic nomination in 2016 between Hillary, Joe Biden and John Kerry. If president Obama is leaning toward support Hillary, that would likely be because he sees Hillary Clinton as the most likely of those three to be elected in 2016.
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