In a wide-ranging and well thought out promotional interview at the Financial Times Weekend festival in Washington, the one-time Democratic presidential candidate, who served as Secretary of State under Barack Obama, offered stark assessments on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, US-China relations, and US president Joe Biden’s re-election prospects next year.
Showing no sign of previous ailments, and on her statesmanlike A-game, Hillary was obviously making her first move to “save the day” come the Democratic primaries. Whether this means another run – or an attempt to elbow Obama’s grip on the White House to the curb – is yet to be seen.
In the interview which was obviously planned as a political statement she said this: “We’ve had presidents who have fallen who were a lot younger and people didn’t go into heart palpitations. But age is an issue and people have every right to consider it. But he has this great saying, and I think he is right, don’t judge him against the almighty but against the alternative.
I am of the camp that I think he’s determined to run, he has a good record that three years ago people would not have predicted. He doesn’t get the credit yet that he deserves for what is happening out in the country in terms of jobs, growth, planning for the future… So I obviously hope he stays very focused and able to compete in the election because I think he can be reelected, and that is what we should all hope for.
What’s interesting is what she doesn’t say. She doesn’t endorse him. She “damns with faint praise”, saying the absolute minimum, just enough to be seen to do the right thing but not enough that anyone can confuse what she says for actual support. And there is no mention of Kamala, at all. Usually this would be a moment to point out the strength of the Administration’s on-deck leadership team should the worst befall the president but Hillary is not going there. Everyone but Kamala knows she’s toxic.