The slow fade of Hillary Clinton since her departure from the State Department in Washington is over. Not only has she delighted her legion fans by opening her first twitter account this week but tomorrow she is in Chicago for an engagement that will further fuel speculation about her presidential ambitions.
That Mrs Clinton is speaking at the annual confab of the Clinton Global Initiative America is in itself not surprising, given that it is a production of her husband and former president Bill Clinton. Yet, what she says there as a panellist alongside Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in a session entitled ‘American Dreams, American Realities’ will be parsed to the limit for signs that she is on board for a 2016 White House run.
To grasp the pulling power of the former first lady, consider her very short voyage so far into the Twitter universe. She joined on Monday and by noon east coast time on Wednesday she had no fewer than 437,381 followers. Her appeal presumably wasn’t hurt by the carefully turned, and self-deprecating, nature of her Twitter profile, which reads: “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD...”
As Chicago veteran reporter and blogger Lynn Sweet reports, those who believe even her diving into the Twitter-sphere might carry significance for 2016 include Senator Barbara Boxer of California. “As someone who has already publicly expressed my most fervent hope that she runs,” the Senator revealed. “I am very encouraged by her entering the Twitter world. I have re-tweeted a lot of her message today. I especially said to my followers I look forward to the TBD part of her announcement.”
It may be that Mrs Clinton, 65, who is writing a memoir, feels she needs to re-enter the fray for purposes of self-burnishing. A Gallup poll issued this week shows a sudden slump in her popularity numbers to 58 per cent, her lowest rating since 2009 (though still respectable). The slide suggests that the relentless of beating of the Benghazi killings drum by the Republicans on Capitol Hill may be taking a toll on her.
In theory, Mrs Clinton will meanwhile be able to gauge reaction to the remarks she is scheduled to make by opening her Twitter stream. The only problem there, however, is that so far she is following only five accounts and they maybe a bit biased. They include Bill Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.