[ 2007-01-22 10:04 ]
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) is pictured on the home page of her
presidential campaign's website, in this screen grab released on January
20, 2007. Clinton said on Saturday she planned to form an exploratory
committee for the 2008 presidential race, the first step toward becoming a
candidate for her party's nomination. Clinton said she would be launching
a series of live, online video conversations with voters, beginning on
Declaring "I'm in to win," Democratic Senator Hillary Clinton
launched her 2008 presidential bid that could make her the first female
president of the United States.
Clinton, the wife of former president
Bill Clinton, lashed out at President George W. Bush in a video on her website
as she ended years of speculation over her political ambitions to declare she
was joining the race.
"I'm in. And I'm in to win," she said in a video on her website.
"As a senator, I will spend two years doing everything in my power to limit
the damage George W. Bush can do. But only a new president will be able to undo
Bush's mistakes and restore our hope and optimism," said Clinton, 59.
Clinton, just beginning her second term representing New York in the Senate,
announced she was taking the key first official step for the race for her
party's nomination and the White House with the formation of a campaign
She joins a field of six other Democrats who have taken initial steps toward
vying for their party's nomination to run
for president in 2008, including Barack Obama (news, bio, voting
record), an Illinois senator hoping to be the first black president.
Clinton's announcement closed speculation dating back to her first run for
Senate in 2000 that she was keen to move back into the White House and replace
Bush, who is serving a second and last four-year term.
"Only a new president can renew the promise of America - the idea that if you
work hard, you can count on the health care, education and retirement security
that you need to raise your family. These are the basic values of America that
are under attack from this administration every day," Clinton said Saturday.
An Illinois-bred corporate lawyer who attended prestigious Yale Law School,
Clinton put Americans on notice early in her husband's 1992 presidential
campaign that she was "not the kind of woman who stays at home baking cookies."
But Republican conservatives bristled at the idea that in electing Bill
Clinton as president, voters were also getting the cerebral Hillary in a great two-for-one bargain.
Her official announcement that she is setting up an exploratory committee
launches what will likely prove one of the most-watched primary battles in
decades, between two would-be "firsts" -- potentially the first female and the
first African-American US president.
In a new poll released Saturday, Clinton held a wide lead over Obama for
their party's nomination.
Clinton outpaced Obama - who joined the race Tuesday - 41 percent to 17
percent in the poll by ABC News and The Washington Post. The survey was taken
On the Republican side, seven presidential hopefuls have taken steps toward
contesting their own party's nomination.
Obama, who announced he was setting up an exploratory committee on Tuesday,
said he will announce his final decision about running on February 10 in
Illinois after touring the country.
He said Saturday: "Senator Clinton is a good friend and a colleague whom I
greatly respect. I welcome her and all the candidates, not as competitors, but
as allies in the work of getting our country back on track."
Clinton, too, underscored the need to steer the country in a different
"This is a big election with some very big questions. How do we bring the war
in Iraq to the right end? How can we make sure every American has access to
adequate health care? How will we ensure our children inherit a clean
environment and energy independence? How can we reduce the deficits that
threaten Social Security and Medicare?" she asked.