Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) announced Saturday morning she is launching a 2008 White House exploratory committee. "I'm in. And I'm in to win."
Clinton immediately started to make the case for herself in a print and webcast statement with an aggresive tone. "I have never been afraid to stand up for what I believe in or to face down the Republican machine. After nearly $70 million spent against my campaigns in New York and two landslide wins, I can say I know how Washington Republicans think, how they operate, and how to beat them."
The two frontrunners in the 2008 Democratic race for the White House have now made it official. Clinton, 59 and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, 45, who opened his exploratory bid on Tuesday, begin at the top tier of a line of Democratic contenders. New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson is also starting an exploratory committee this weekend.
Obama e-mailed a reaction shortly after Clinton put in her White House bid. He said 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."
Obama has no other political events on his schedule before his official announcement on Feb. 10 in Springfield, Ill. either real world or virtual, via his web site while Clinton is filling in her web calendar.
Will this change?
Clinton, in a statement posted on her website said, " Starting Monday, January 22, at 7 p.m. EST for three nights in a row, I'll sit down to answer your questions about how we can work together for a better future. And you can participate live at my website." That's the day before, during and after the State of the Union speech President Bush delivers to Congress on Tuesday night.
Clinton. Obama. Richardson. The first major league viable female, African-American and Hispanic contenders for president.
Cliinton strategist Mark Penn, not mentioning Obama by name, took aim at him in a memo he wrote framing the argument on why Clinton is the strongest candidate.
"The last two Democratic presidential candidates started out with high favorable ratings and ended up on Election Day (and today) far more polarizing and disliked nationally," he wrote, referring to a CBS poll.
"Hillary is the one potential nominee who has been fully tested, with the Republicans spending nearly $70 million in the last decade to try to defeat her. She is not just strong, but the strongest Democrat in the field. Hillary is the only one able to match or beat the Republicans after years of their partisan attacks on her."
Clinton, born in Chicago and raised in Park Ridge, alluded to her north suburban roots in talking about herself. "I grew up in a middle-class family in the middle of America, where I learned that we could overcome every obstacle we face if we work together and stay true to our values."
CLINTON'S CHICAGO ROOTS AT A GLANCE
She was brainy and popular but didn't have a high school boyfriend.
She was one of those conservative "Goldwater Girls" who didn't relate to Holden Caulfield when she first read Catcher In the Rye.
She took square dancing lessons at Eugene Field School in Park Ridge.
She went down to Grant Park to watch - not demonstrate - as kids her age were protesting during the 1968 Democratic National Convention.
She changed her politics, became a lawyer and married a man who would be elected governor of Arkansas and who this week will be president. And she will be first lady.
Hillary Clinton, Maine South Class of '65 and formerly of 235 Wisner in Park Ridge, moves Wednesday from the governor's mansion in Little Rock to the White House.
During the (1992 presidential) campaign, she was portrayed as an unforgiving, hard-charging corporate lawyer. When she said during a Chicago campaign stop, "I suppose I could have stayed home and baked cookies and given teas," the image stuck and she has been trying to undo it since.
Publicly, she was seen as cold and calculating. But her high school friends remember her differently. Eldest of 3 children
Early on Oct. 26, 1947, 28-year-old Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham arrived at Edgewater Hospital, 5700 N. Ashland, to deliver her first child.
Some 12 hours later, Dorothy and Hugh Ellsworth Rodham, 34, then a sales manager for the Barrett Textile Corp., welcomed Hillary Diane into the world.
They took her home, a few blocks away at 5722 N. Winthrop, but the Rodhams didn't stay in the apartment near Ardmore Beach for long.
The Rodhams moved to northwest suburban Park Ridge in 1951, to the two-story, seven-room Georgian they bought for about $ 21,500. This became home to Hillary and her brothers, Hugh and Tony....
(excerpts from 1993 Lynn Sweet profile of Hillary Rodham Clinton)