Hillary Clinton takes a break

By Laurie Bennett

February 1, 2013 at 4:38pm

Newsweek calls her the “the most powerful woman in American history,” a declaration that media critics and conservatives challenge.

What’s to challenge?

Many other American women - Nancy Pelosi, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gloria Steinem, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, even Phyllis Schlafly - have exerted influence.

But they all achieved prominence at different points along our national timeline.

Not one of them held so many important posts - as first lady, U.S. senator, presidential candidate, and secretary of state. Not one of them could have been elected president.

On Friday, Hillary Rodham Clinton said goodbye to the Hillaryland that is the current State Department.

Hillary Rodham Clinton says goodbye

Hillary Rodham Clinton says goodbye.   Feb. 1, 2013

She looked great. One might say she glowed.

She didn’t cry. She worked the crowd. She urged them to show the same dedication to her successor, John Kerry.

She noted the suicide bombing earlier in the day at the U.S. embassy in Turkey. Her recent performance before congressional panels investigating another diplomatic tragedy, the attack in Benghazi, was fresh in everyone’s memory.

But mainly it was a love fest, with Clinton expressing gratitude and hopes for her staff, and her staff showing gratitude and hopes for her.

We find it hard to believe that Hillary won’t run in 2016.

But she’s far smarter than we are. She has seen the global impact powerful people can have when they’re unencumbered by a sclerotic Congress.

Her husband has enormous reach through his foundation. Her husband’s former vice president has wielded power in several spheres - the environment, media, technology - and won a Nobel Peace Prize, all without occupying the Oval Office.

Her devotion to women’s rights might better be pursued outside the confines of elected politics.

So many paths will be open to her after she’s taken some time to sleep in and relax with her family.

If she doesn’t run, it will likely be because she sees other realms with greater prospects. That may say as much about Washington as it says about Hillary Rodham Clinton.

…Ah, who are we kidding? No other position holds a candle to the U.S. presidency. If she’s in good health and free of scandal, how can she not run?

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