Open thread: Obscure former NY senator announces surprise bid for presidency

Over the last few weeks we’ve seen Republican candidates getting into the race for the presidency and a few others who are about to launch their journey on that path. Up until now, however, there were no Democrats announcing similar moves. For a while I had begun to think that they had taken some time to reflect on the dismal record of the current office holder and decided to simply run nobody out of embarrassment. But rather than leaving the field entirely to the GOP, it seems that the party of the donkey has finally found someone willing to toss their hat in the ring. Today is the day when a woman who is either from Arkansas, New York or Illinois (we’re still checking on that) officially announces that she will seek her party’s nomination for the presidency.

Following a trend set by early GOP announcers, the candidate, Hillary Clinton (nee Rodham) is a former one term Senator from the state of New York. (We should specify one term, since two terms would be 12 years. Even following basic rules of math, you’d need to complete 51% of a second term to properly round up and say “two term” and the candidate only completed eight years before mysteriously quitting her job for some reason.) The Senate record for those eight years doesn’t seem to indicate any successful legislation initiated by the candidate, but press accounts from the period refer to many instances of “listening” so we assume that her hearing is excellent.

The resume provided by her press office also includes time spent working at some capacity in the State Department from 2009 through 2013. Details on this period of her career are sketchy as there seem to have been no significant treaties or other diplomatic initiatives of note on the foreign policy front completed during that time. Her assignments did include significant amounts of airline travel, though, as well as the delivery of what seemed to be novelty item gifts to foreign leaders.

The candidate is married with one child and her husband is a former President of the United States. Her marriage apparently provided her with some tangential exposure to the world of politics during the 1990s, along with some experience in fashion and women’s clothing design. (Details are, again, sketchy, but she seems to be well known for a resurgence in the popularity of pants suits.)

Notoriously camera shy and uncomfortable around reporters or large crowds, the candidate seems eager to parlay her knowledge of modern technology and social media into a quick jump on her competitors. She set the high tech tone of her nascent campaign by releasing her big announcement via Facebook, Twitter and other virtual gathering places for the young and young at heart. She’s also reputed to be a real wiz with email.

The first announcement was sent to the press.

Hillary Clinton is officially running for president.

John Podesta, the chairman of her presumptive campaign, sent an email message to Democratic backers Sunday saying “it’s official: Hillary’s running for president.”

“She is hitting the road to Iowa to start talking directly with voters. There will be a formal kickoff event next month, and we look forward to seeing you there,” he wrote.

And here it is… the big video announcement on YouTube.

It’s a strange video in some ways. Two minutes and eighteen seconds long, Hillary doesn’t say a word until roughly the 1:30 mark. She hits a very Elizabeth Warren tone throughout and checks off all demographic pigeonhole boxes. There are images of straight couples, gay couples and every racial slice in the rainbow. Short on substance, she implies that the country is in a lot of trouble. Of course, now she’ll have to explain why things are so bad when her old boss has been in charge for the last six years and her party controlled at least half of Congress until a few months ago. Is she going to run as a Republican?

Watch the video yourself and share your thoughts here.

Bonus reading material: While you’re debating this startling announcement you can check out this piece from New York Magazine. They seem to feel that Hillary Clinton has a lot of work to do if she wants to win and little talent for getting it done.