Chicago Sun-Times
The scoop from Washington

Sweet Blog extra: Hillary Rodham Clinton opens presidential exploratory committee. UPDATES Obama statement. Clinton Chicago roots. Clinton's first endorsement.


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."


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)

for more go to

this is Sen. Clinton's announcement.....

I'm in. And I'm in to win.

Today I am announcing that I will form an exploratory committee to run for president.

And I want you to join me not just for the campaign but for a conversation about the future of our country -- about the bold but practical changes we need to overcome six years of Bush administration failures.

I am going to take this conversation directly to the people of America, and I'm starting by inviting all of you to join me in a series of web chats over the next few days.

The stakes will be high when America chooses a new president in 2008.

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.

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.

And only a new president can regain America's position as a respected leader in the world.

I believe that change is coming November 4, 2008. And I am forming my exploratory committee because I believe that together we can bring the leadership that this country needs. I'm going to start this campaign with a national conversation about how we can work to get our country back on track.

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?

No matter where you live, no matter what your political views, I want you to be a part of this important conversation right at the start. So to begin, I'm going to spend the next several days answering your questions in a series of live video web discussions. 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. Sign up to join the conversation here.

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.

I have worked on issues critical to our country almost all my life. I've fought for children for more than 30 years. In Arkansas, I pushed for education reform. As First Lady, I helped to expand health care coverage to millions of children and to pass legislation that dramatically increased adoptions. I also traveled to China to affirm that women's rights are human rights.

And in the Senate, I have worked across party lines to get billions more for children's health care, to stop the president's plan to privatize Social Security, and to make sure the victims and heroes of 9/11 and our men and women in uniform receive the fair treatment they deserve. In 2006, I led the successful fight to make Plan B contraception available to women without a prescription.

I have spent a lifetime opening opportunities for tens of millions who are working hard to raise a family: new immigrants, families living in poverty, people who have no health care or face an uncertain retirement.

The promise of America is that all of us will have access to opportunity, and I want to run a 2008 campaign that renews that promise, a campaign built on a lifetime record of results.

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.

I need you to be a part of this campaign, and I hope you'll start by joining me in this national conversation.

As we campaign to win the White House, we will make history and remake our future. We can only break barriers if we dare to confront them, and if we have the determined and committed support of others.

This campaign is our moment, our chance to stand up for the principles and values that we cherish; to bring new ideas, energy, and leadership to a uniquely challenging time. It's our chance to say "we can" and "we will."

Let's go to work. America's future is calling us.
Copyright © 2007
Paid for by Hillary Clinton for President Exploratory Committee
Privacy Policy
this from Emily's List...

Statement by Ellen R. Malcolm,

Endorsing Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for President

The following is a statement from EMILY's List President Ellen R. Malcolm announcing their endorsement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton for President of the United States.

“I am one of the millions of women who have waited all their lives to see the first woman sworn in as president of the United States — and now we have our best opportunity to see that dream fulfilled.

On the national stage and in the neighborhoods of New York, Senator Hillary Clinton has repeatedly put her expertise and power behind solutions that make the lives of the American people safer and more prosperous. No one is more qualified to bring to the White House the kind of principled and effective leadership our nation so desperately needs.

It is with tremendous excitement and pride that EMILY’s List endorses Senator Hillary Clinton for president. As Senator Clinton begins her historic journey, EMILY’s List will be with her every step of the way — raising early money from our grassroots donor network of more than 100,000 EMILY’s List members, using our vast political resources to help her build a strong national campaign, and mobilizing millions of women voters through our groundbreaking WOMEN VOTE! program to support her and every Democrat on the ticket in 2008.”

# # #


Good Morning-

My husband and I would like to join Hillary's conversation but are having difficulty locating where to 'sign up'. There appears to be spaces next to her CNN video but the mouse won't let us click in. Can you help? Thank you - Linda

I can't.
Can anyone out there help Linda?

Wonderful!! Move ahead, we are behind you here in Hawaii. PLEASE pick Senator Barack Obama as your running mate for V.P. -- the two of you can change the face and direction of America!

Aloha ...

I am pleased she is entering the race. As a Democrat, I am happy that she is ready to give it a run.

However, her politically-dervied decision to abandon her hometown and homestate in exchange for a politically-expedient seat in New York will prevent me from voting for her. Her dis-loyalty to me and other residents from Illinois will not allow me to vote for her. That said, I wish her the best. She is a capable, intelligent candidate and will do well.

I am not voting for her. If she wins the primary, it would be the longest period in American history where a Bush or Clinton is on the presidential ticket (1980-2008). This country wants change and she is not the one to bring it. She wants power and position more than she wants to help Americans. However, I am glad that she is running because that almost guarantees that Barack Obama will win, because a lot of people want change and are turned off by her.

I back Hillary 100% though I do not agree with the philosophy that capping problems fix them. That is in direct opposition with the freedoms Americans enjoy (and used to enjoy even more). In an ideal democracy the people must accept some of the responsibility to manage our representatives and our problems and protect our freedoms. So, in short, there must be a better way to solve our problems than capping them. Nonetheless, Hillary is more than qualified and capable. I believe she really wants to make a possitive difference. She will definitely have my full support and I hope my fellow Americans will have their eyes opened to accept her potential and vote for a candidate who has her heart in the right place. can direct you, as me you have seen the great fake hope know as barack obama, this guy has done nothing, stands for nothing, and lied about his past along with Tony Rezko ties!

Praise the Lord!!!! We need Hillary as our next President. The men have screwed it up, now it will take a STRONG WOMAN to clean it up. Alma Sanford, Nashville, TN

I think that Hillary Clinton is obsessed by the need for power. I cannot envision her handling the most powerful position on Earth. Bring on Barak!

As a 55 year old married male who votes only for the right person, not the party, I am 100% behink Hillary Clinton. She had a plan for Health Insurance with President Clinton was in office and the typical class A males were afraid to let her be a voice. The situation this country is in financially and internationally has driven the honor ot the USA to a new low. As a business owner I also welcome the turning of the tide to make employees your most cherished item. All I can say is quote a well known saying "Give Them Hell" Hillary.

This is a woman who stood beside a lying cheating adulterer. One of the worst discrases in American Politicts and the only sitting President to be impeached. This will be brougt up again as will the travelgate scandal. Their poor daughter must be devistated or else they raised her with no scruples. This woman is a joke in politics, life and is a far cry from any person who would do this country justice. Stay in New York let the federal government pay your mortage payments (which alot of American people don't know they are paying for) and suck those idoits dry!

The American people have a huge task ahead of us all. We must vote, do our research, follow the campaign of each candidate and form our own decision. Many people feel betrayed by the "good old boy network of politics." The times are changing where you can no longer just vote for a party based on promises and past practice. Example, take a good look at the state of Cook County, IL. Wow! One word "Devastating" and changing lives of the working class as I e-mail. The working class people, middle class, blue collar workers are suffering by the actions of their own votes.

Please however you chose to vote, take the time to view all the facts and watch what the candidates are doing for the greater good for all the people. Not just their political chronies and family members. We will have to watch as well as pray!

I hate Hillary. I am a female democrat and she is like nails on a chalkboard. I hope she gets crushed.
Her getting in the worst news possible for democrats.
I don't know of one person who actually likes her.

No comment for now.You have my support and will campaign for you.May the Almight Guard and Guide you in all your endeavors.

has this country lost its freakin mind. we have spent most of the last decade washing the stink of the last clinton administration off of this country. did whitewater just go away ? she couldn't even control her husband now we are supposed to give her the keys to the country ? no thanks. between her and barry obama i would vote for a republican corpse !

She has no chance. She isnt a very likable person and that counts for everything when it comes to running for prez. She comes of as an ellitest snob and a phony. She is quoted as saying "We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society." That is scary. That is Marxist. Western culture is based on Individualizm and idividual rights.

I was wondering if it would be possible to run three on a Presidential team. If you, Hillary, Obama, and Edwards could run as a team it could make all the difference. Alone I fear that the Republicans would eat you alive. The country is in such a mess I think it would take three to even make a slight turn for the better. I know there is still a lot of prejudice against women and blacks which would turn people against you without even knowing you or giving you a chance, but with all three you could sweep the majority of voters who have their hearts in the right place.

Welcome to Hilary's power trip! "I'm in, and I'm in to win....I know how Republicans think, how they operate and how to beat them." What a refreshing departure from candidates claiming "I know what the people of this country need and want and I know how to get it done." NOT! Keep up the great speeches Hilary so everyone can see that your bid for the White House is an ego trip you've been on since Bill was Governor of Arkansas. Hopefully the rest of the nation will not be as gullible as the people of New York.

Barack can handle it, he yelled and a female reporter for making fun of his ears. He's a real tough skinned leader, HAHAHA, GO HILLARY!

Hillary is a pathological liar...We've been there before and don't need to go there again. Go Obama!!!

I would not vote for a woman who cannot stand up to her husband and be strong enough to leave him when he cheated. They have really tarnished our childrens brains, they now think it is ok to have oral sex because of her husband. I don't think she will be good for our country.

I think Hillary will make a fine president. She already has proven herself as a bold faced liar.She was on television with her cheating lying husband and they BOTH denied any knowledge of anything. With the both of them back in the White House then the American public can save some monies by not having to pay rent at the Clinton house to house the secret service agents. And while they are back in the White House maybe they can steal more furniture and historical items from there. At least we will now what we are going to get if she is elected. Thank God she moved from Illinois I can still smell the stench of the manure pile that she left in Park Ridge. Just leave her in Washington she fits well with all the other politicians who are slinging manure around.

For those interested in working for Hillary Clinton
you can visit her website at

The link to sign up for the webcast conversation is:

Rock-American voters-hard place. This is just what the Republicans wanted. This is the move that will galvanize the GOP and pull all the fence sitters over to their side. No other political figure is as controversial as Hilary, nor as arrogant and self centered with fewer real qualifications. Who cares what the US needs? She knows how to beat the Republicans, which is great, because they have been doing plenty of that on their own. Nicely done, how much taxpayer $$ is this going to cost us? I am moving to Canada.

Hillary, Remember that there is a war in progress because our country was attacked by "Terrorist's"-The Twin Towers, plus other attacks across the world. I am a Marine from WW2, and I know from your candor that you are power happy. Greedy - just think, you the Pres, and Bill head of UN. GOD HELP THE USA

I look forward to voting in the 2008 election as I have since I was 18yrs old.
I am now 58.I hope that after the primary election you and Barack Obama will form a TEAM--A WINNING COMBINATION--CLINTON/OBAMA IS THE TICKET FOR DEMOCRATS AND THE WELFARE OF THE COUNTRY IN 2008

I believe Hillary Clinton's time has come. She has prepared for this all her life and I have never seen her exude more confidence. She is very likely going to be our next President.

I wish her the best of luck and the best of health.

Hillary's never been back to help out in her old home town. Park Ridge isslowly turning Democratic, but sadly without the help of it's most famous daughter.

The Clinton/Obama team would be an interesting one. I also think that when you come into Politics there is an element of what can it do for you as well as what you can do for your people. It should never be a one way purpose, else how can you be motivated to perform at your best?

It is always an interview question for any job (What can this company do for you?"

I look forward to what these elections will bring.

If all it takes is to be female to win the presidency i'm in, I wish people would see past the hollywood persona, and look at the world today, talk to a real new yorker, they will tell you there are people who want to kill us. this war has got to be won and over with, but patience is a virtue, we are winning and our troops are doing a wonderful job, hillary voted for the war, and if you listen to her comments to a womens rights group, that "she had to disagree with the opposition to the war, and after careful consideration of the facts", SHE CAME TO THE CONCLUSION "that military force was necessary" look it up people. She is fibbing a bit now that she was tricked by bush, this is completly false, so for you folks who are at the hillary alter, remember this country has been run by a bush or a clinton for waaaayy to long.


Take the Pledge

All Presidential Candidates should make pledges like those below. If they
refuse, then you should refuse to vote for them.

1. No More Oil Wars.

2. Work for independence from foreign oil on day one.

3. No more wars for corporate profit.

4. No more secret deals for $4 per gallon gas.

5. No more Chicken Hawks promoting wars of choice when they themselves avoided combat.

6. Make government green--if you can't make what you have the most control over
green, I don't care about your plans to make the country green.

7. No more torture.

8. No more lying about torture.

9. No more re-defining torture.

10. No more drunken hunting.

11. No more secret deals with big corporations to divide up the spoils before the war even starts.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 20, 2007 8:28 AM.

Zogby poll puts Obama in the lead in New Hampshire. Obama 23%. Clinton and Edwards, 19%. was the previous entry in this blog.

Clinton strategist memo. Hillary's road to the White House. "Famous but really unknown." is the next entry in this blog.

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