June 27th, 2014
03:14 AM ET

Hillary Clinton’s truly hard choice: Change or continuity?

By Fareed Zakaria

Hillary Clinton’s problem is not her money. Despite the media flurry over a couple of awkward remarks she made, most people will understand her situation pretty quickly — she wasn’t born rich but has become very rich — and are unlikely to hold it against her. Mitt Romney did not lose the last election because of his wealth. Hispanics and Asians did not vote against him in record numbers because he was a successful businessman. Clinton’s great challenge will be to decide whether she represents change or continuity.

Clinton will make history in a big and dramatic way if she is elected — as the first woman president. But she will make history in a smaller, more complicated sense as well. She would join just three other non-incumbents since 1900 to win the White House after their party had been in power for eight years. She would be the first to win who was not the vice president or the clear protégé of the incumbent president.

Read the full Washington Post column

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Topics: Fareed's Take

soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. No 'hillary clinton'

    No 'Mafia Hillary' anymore – she did miserable damage to America.

    June 27, 2014 at 4:33 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini

      Thank you, No 'hillary clinton'. That broad will keep things the way they are right now such as our ignominious aggressive interventionist foreign policies which only brought untold misery and hardship to people half way around the world. Besides, her arrogance and self-righteousness is truly appalling.

      June 27, 2014 at 8:36 am | Reply
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini@

    HILLARY 2016!
    She will be different from Obama: she is not Obama.
    Hillary Clinton will be brilliant, tough, and very much of our time: a NOW president.
    As for her wealth, I would not trust her if she had not achieved it.

    June 27, 2014 at 6:26 am | Reply
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini@

    Mrs. Clinton's election is not a done deal. My Republican party has at least one charismatic candidate who could win if he were hyped, but the entire party would have to decide to move on down the road into the present.
    I wonder what would happen if Republicans campaigned on a platform that included autonomous enclave states for the socially challenged.

    June 27, 2014 at 6:48 am | Reply
  4. The GOP Solution

    The GOP Prayer/Mantra/Solution: Dear God...With your loving kindness, help us to turn all the Old, Sick, Poor, Non-white, Non-christian, Female, and Gay people into slaves. Then, with your guidance and compassion, we will whip them until they are Young, Healthy, Rich, White, Christian, Male, and Straight. Or until they are dead. God...Grant us the knowledge to then turn them into Soylent Green to feed the military during the next "unfunded/off-the-books" war. God...Give us the strength during our speeches to repeatedly yell........TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH!!!..........and........GET RID OF SS AND MEDICARE!!!
    In your name we prey (purposely misspelled, or is it?)........Amen

    June 27, 2014 at 10:09 am | Reply
  5. Allan Kinsman

    Politics seems inclusive yet when the rubber meets the road it is more keeping the common citizen without a voice. Will Hillary be different? A good question. As the first woman president there are no precidents. There needs a new political vision as the status quo is eating away at the heart and soul of the former republic. If one party get a wider view they may catch the imagination of the quiet American who sits on the sidelines watching and listening if at all. Most have given up looking between the lines of a set of rules pushing the middle groung away. It's time to repurpose and head in a new direction one of substance and not a cacaphony of chaos.

    June 27, 2014 at 11:23 am | Reply
  6. bobcat2u

    When Albert Einstein was making the rounds of the speaker's circuit, he usually found himself eagerly longing to get back to his laboratory work. One night as they were driving to yet another rubber-chicken dinner, Einstein mentioned to his chauffeur (a man who somewhat resembled Einstein in looks & manner) that he was tired of speechmaking.

    "I have an idea, boss," his chauffeur said. "I've heard you give this speech so many times. I'll bet I could give it for you." Einstein laughed loudly and said, "Why not? Let's do it!" When they arrive at the dinner, Einstein donned the chauffeur's cap and jacket and sat in the back of the room. The chauffeur gave a beautiful rendition of Einstein's speech and even answered a few questions expertly.

    Then a supremely pompous professor asked an extremely esoteric question about anti-matter formation, digressing here and there to let everyone in the audience know that he was nobody's fool. Without missing a beat, the chauffeur fixed the professor with a steely stare and said, "Sir, the answer to that question is so simple that I will let my chauffeur, who is sitting in the back, answer it for me."

    June 27, 2014 at 11:35 am | Reply
    • banasy©

      That is fantastic!
      Well done!

      June 27, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Reply
  7. Ferhat Balkan

    The problem that I have with Mrs. Clinton is the fact that she was all for extended stay in Iraq when Obama was trying to pull the troops out. In fact, she was quite aggressive about it. Which leads me to think that she's all pro government (what the government wants) and not what the people want. Polls at the time (when Hillary was Sec Of State) clearly showed the American public wanted the troops out of Iraq, but Hillary in her infinite wisdom pushed the GOP view that the troops should remain. I'm not comfortable with a pro war democrat in office.

    June 27, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Reply
  8. j. von hettlingen

    Although the 2016 presidential election is two years away, many want to know whether Hillary Clinton will run or not. The frenzy started before she left the state department. Her recent book "Hard Choices", added to the speculation. She herself said that she would make a final decision by the end of this year. Her supporters hope she will run and some are convinced she will win too, becoming America's first woman president.
    If facing the "hard choice" between "change or continuity", Hillary Clinton would opt for continuity. Peter Beinart said Hillary Clinton were terrific at planning but not so adept at improvising. She is said to be mentally tough and possess many skills – most notably her methodical, unyielding drive and her analytical ability. She is known to be decisive and outspoken. It remains to be seen whether her single-mindedness would be her greatest strength or weakness. It could make her inflexible and unwilling to adapt herself to new situations. As she is not an orator like Obama, she will not be able to improvise and rally the public to her side in debates. She would reward those who are good to her and make those fear, who oppose her.
    She has had her shortcomings and setbacks, like the failure to pass healthcare reform in 1993, her support of the 2003 Iraq War and her presidential bid in 2008. If she learns from her own mistakes as well as the failures of her husband, Bill Clinton and those of Obama, she might be more successful than the two men.

    June 27, 2014 at 6:00 pm | Reply
  9. chri§§y

    Im with you @ Joey although both Allan and j von both made some valid points. And yes @ Joey if she has learned from being in debt how to turn that around and become rich without resorting to thievery and fraud then shes a good role model for the rest of the elected clowns! And they seem to need all the help they can get in that area. Plus she has proved she will not be a doormat!

    June 27, 2014 at 10:30 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      @ chrissy,
      Thank you for that post, which showed me that I should have made clear that I was referring only to a person who may become out president when I said that I would not trust her if she had not succeeded financially.
      Of course. I have many friends and associates who have almost no money in these hard times, and I would trust them with almost anything, but probably not with running my country.

      June 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  10. STOP the 'Clinton Clan'

    We do not want the Clintons (non Hillary) anywhere near the White House. Hillary is one unfortunate failure in politics.

    June 28, 2014 at 2:28 am | Reply
  11. Hillary - American Mafia Politician

    No Hillary, no Bill, no Clinton Dynasty – they are American Mafia Politicians – not welcome in this world.

    June 28, 2014 at 8:52 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      Hillary Clinton, you say, is in the Mafia?
      No no no no no...
      We thought about inviting her to join, but somebody blackballed her.

      June 28, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  12. chri§§y

    Lmao @ Joey i knew what you meant dear.

    June 28, 2014 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  13. chri§§y

    Lol @ Joey that was absolutely hillarious! Blackballed indeed!

    June 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  14. Yakuza Mafia

    We have credible information, that Hillary has connections and works for the 'j a p a n e s e Yakuza Mafia' – very dangerness.

    June 29, 2014 at 10:04 am | Reply
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    Yesterday, I received in the mail a certificate as a Founding Member of the Ready for Hillary PAC. I proudly put it up where folks will see it.
    I hope that everybody helps her. Most donations are small.

    June 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm | Reply
  16. Retired Military

    Ms. Clinton isn't "pro war". She is a pragmatist in that she understood the necessity to maintain a force in Iraq. She was looking for a strategic outcome in line with our national interest. The President made a near term political decision which has led to today's unstable Iraq. Calling Ms. Clinton pro war is like saying women who believe in reproductive rights are pro abortionist.

    June 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat Balkan

      That point of view largely depends on how you perceive the the situation in Iraq. The president's decision did not dictate the current situation in Iraq. If the American troops hadn't pulled out and stayed in Iraq as Hillary would've wanted it, ISIS would've still formed in Syria and eventually invade Iraq and we'd have another war with more US casualties. Nothing good came out of US presence in Iraq and it never will. Even now, sending in US troops to "protect the embassy" is sending more fuel to the fire. What do you think will happen if those US troops clash with ISIS and we have casualties? Of course, we'll send in more troops and get involved in another Iraq war. If you really think that having troops in Iraq is "pragmatic", then you haven't learned from the US failure in Iraq.

      June 30, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Reply
  17. chri§§y

    Very true @ Retired Military! And commendable that you thought of it that way! You do have very rational perceptions of things. Wish you could train others.

    June 29, 2014 at 7:44 pm | Reply
  18. NATO Americans

    NATO member countries do not want any 'Hispanics and Asians' in politics. All NATO Americans should get voting rights (NATO Americans = French Americans, Turkish Americans, Greek Americans, Italian Americans, British Americans, ...).

    June 30, 2014 at 1:40 am | Reply
  19. We need new leaders

    Hillary is the 'bad hard choice' for America – no-one wants – no-one needs.

    July 1, 2014 at 4:17 am | Reply
  20. chri§§y

    @ we need new leaders please dont imply that you speak for all of us, because you dont! (love and agree with your user name tho) I think Hillary would be a perfect candidate!

    July 1, 2014 at 10:22 am | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      I agree, @ chrissy.
      I wore an OBAMA baseball cap before his first election. It got a lot of attention.
      I expect to be more involved in Mrs. Clinton's election, if she will run.

      July 1, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  21. Retired Military

    Ferhat:  I fully understand the failed state of today's Iraq. It is clear...The President failed to exercise leadership. His decision to pull forces out enabled the current environment. He now owns the disaster that is Iraq. He should have maintained a presence in Iraq by forcing the hand of the Iraqi leaders. That is what happens in WAR. He did not listen to the Generals who have individually served in the profession of arms for 35 to 40 years. We lost many lives in Iraq. Stability didn't come easy or cheaply, but it was obtained. Pulling out certainly expedited the demise and total instability we see today.

    July 1, 2014 at 1:51 pm | Reply
    • Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

      I certainly do it have the knowledge and experience in military matters that @ Retired Military has and shares with us, but my instincts caused me to think that the complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq would lead us to the kind of failure that we now must accept and handle.

      July 1, 2014 at 7:19 pm | Reply
  22. Joey Isotta-Fraschini©

    "I certainly do not have the knowledge..."
    I meant to write that.

    July 1, 2014 at 7:25 pm | Reply
  23. Ferhat Balkan

    The current state of Iraq has nothing to do with Obama's decision to pull out the troops. There are many variables to it. It all actually started when the US decided to invade Iraq. Iraq was a lawless out of control country since the Al-Maliki government took over in 2006. The Al-Maliki government that the Bush administration supported and helped establish was never democratic to begin with. The current situation in Iraq is largely due to oppression of the Sunni and Kurdish minority by the Shia led government. By "forcing the hand of Iraqi leaders" you merely provide more instability to an already unstable situation. You cannot force a government or a group of people to do the right thing by establishing a police state. Neither can you expect to have stability by promoting Western standards or ideals to a people who do not wish it. The only solution that I can see for Iraq right now is a split Iraq between Sunni, Shia and Kurds. These people simply cannot live together under unified Iraq.

    July 2, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Reply
    • Ferhat Balkan

      Furthermore, Obama's decision to pull out the troops was the correct one, because it avoided needless deaths of US soldiers to what was obviously a country headed for civil war from the beginning.

      July 2, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Reply
      • Retired Military

        Intesting...my reply to your comments will not post.

        July 2, 2014 at 8:36 pm |
      • Retired Military

        Being censored for critical commentary.

        July 2, 2014 at 8:57 pm |
      • Ferhat Balkan

        I find that certain key words will get blocked/filtered by CNN. It happened to me several times. What I usually do is copy what I write before posting it (this way I don't loose it completely). If the posting gets blocked, I paste it and look for any words that may be censored, remove them and re-post again.

        July 2, 2014 at 9:17 pm |
      • Retired Military

        I have done the cut and paste multiple times with no results. Will try again later. Thank you for the recommendation.

        July 2, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
      • Retired Military

        1. Should have implemented Marshall-like plan.
        2. As a result, Sunnis would not have been forced out of military and government in Iraq.
        3. Sunnis would not have left the battlefield in Sunni held territory in Iraq (North and western Iraq). Shia led military just walked away.
        4. ISIS would have been contained by the Iraqi and Syrian militaries and rebels in Syria – containment.
        5. ISIS wouldn't have been able to take Iraqi land, weaponry, money, gold and oil. They have enriched themselves as there was no opposition, only opportunity.
        6. Bush administration made correct decision to support an elected government of Sunnis and Shiites. Once we abandoned the difficult work done in blood and treasure the Sunnis were ejected. Not staying engaged was the foundational act of destabilizing Iraq and now the region. Discussion about the merits of whether we should have gone into Iraq isn't the issue.
        7. The decision to leave Iraq was a near term, political one seen as a necessity in the year of a Presidential election.
        8. I concur with your comments on the future Iraq being divided up. It is inevitable.

        July 3, 2014 at 1:29 am |
      • Retired Military

        Finally posted.

        July 3, 2014 at 1:31 am |
      • Retired Military

        Item 3. Refers to the route of the current Iraqi army against ISIS.

        July 3, 2014 at 1:36 am |
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