Melissa Harris-Perry | February 03, 2013
>>> friday marked hillary clinton 's last day at the u.s. secretary of state . she bid adieu to the state department , the speculation over the next stop on her political projectry fired up again. two packs are formed one with the website preparing to support her undeclared candidacy for 2016 . people, let the woman breathe or take a nap. in one sense, the speculation is fair because hrc has been a boss. on newsweek's latest cover, they go with the notion calling clinton the most powerful woman in american history . she's been much more than bubba's wife, lawyer, political organizer, professor, first lady lady, senator and secretary of state. it's natural to think adding president to the list of accomplishments would be icing on the cake , right? wrong. people, please, stop acting as though her legacy is only complete if she becomes president. if we are so worried about the possibility of an end of the era for hillary , broaden it to the overall representation of women in elected office. more worrisome is the closing of the white house project, a group founded in 1998 to promote women in politics and possibly the presidency. the reason for closing? lack of financial support . kai wright, patrick, joe reid and rebecca, author of "big girls don't cry." she is the hillary fan i like to bring to balance out the hillary hate that will emerge from me if i am not careful. of course, i don't hate hillary . i just hate the discourse that she's going to be president in 2016 . you are my favorite hillary fan.
>> it's interesting that on friday, her last day at state, in the article he brings us up, too. i was 17 when bill clinton won the presidency. my entire adult political consciousness had hillary clinton , more than bill, had hillary clinton in a position of public power in one way or another. it's been 20 years. that has been my adulthood. i felt not warmly toward her and very warmly. the idea she was going to leave, i did wake up thinking hey, it's the end of an era .
>> it's the end of something.
>> it's a shift, you know. maybe that's a better way to think about it. it's a shift that she, the clinton's represent a moment that for many of us was a coming of age . hillary clinton is an important part of it. it feels to me like by the push -- the thing i hate about the conversation is the push to have her run in 2016 as though if she doesn't she is a failure. all the rest of everything she's done and been doesn't matter if she's never president. that seems wrong to me.
>> in a lot of ways, the desire to have hillary be president, hillaryland , if you go into that world of people obsessed with her and really want her to be president and didn't want to support barack obama , it took a lot for them to get over her not being the one. the intensity is the desire for there to be a women 's time in office. there's a feeling around them. they want it. hillaryland wants it almost more than -- maybe not bill clinton .
>> i don't think bill wants her to be president. i don't think bill clinton wants --
>> i think the fight is in bill clinton 's head. i think bill clinton wants her, doesn't want her. i would argue that it's broader than just hillaryland . she represents a lot. i'm not saying she should run for president. i think what she represents and she is one figure and came from a generation that enacted so much change, he always, since long before the presidency was in question as a first lady candidate in 1992 , she reflected something women never saw before. it was a new version of themselves. people attached so much meaning to her. she continues to have and she's built more and more and more.
>> we know from political science research it's more difficult for them to run for office and win. when you have somebody who appears to be on the threshold of winning, you understand the enthusiasm. it's that's much harder.
>> you are right. that trajectory for women is tough. we know, of course in political science research the people we elect to the presidency, our senators, governors and vice presidents . we don't elect first ladies. on the one hand, maybe that's bad. some of our first ladies would have been better presidents than their husbands. i always feel a little creepy about the fact that despite she is an exceptionally accomplished woman, that pathway was her husband.
>> i'm not -- you are right. the anxiety we feel is right. but it's also tied to her role as history maker . it's how women got in from the earliest mayors, they were wives of, daughters of sisters of. she is representative of a pattern.
>> white women .
>> yes. that's right.
>> i think this is part of why it never quite -- as a black woman , i'm supposed to have angst about whether or not to support president or then senator obama because he was black or senator clinton because she was a woman. my mom was mormon. that notion of this generation of women and who they are, i always want to say whoa. which women are you talking about?
>> how sad is it if you think of an american life , she is the only female figure that seems to have the stature to be president. the only other woman on the cusp was sarah freaking palin. a lot of people were saying my god, if that's going to be the first american president --
>> more coming up now.
>> nikki hallie. if i pause and take my emotions and put them here, voters won't do it. if i do, nikki halie, as a young woman of color, is one strong candidate. suzanna martinez, fire and light at the gop and carries a gun into bingo, these are candidates which i got to tell you, a 70-year-old hillary clinton would have a real challenge with.
>> pamela harris is incredible. within her own party, people are coming up. who knows where they are going to be in four years. who knew where barack obama was going to be in four years. you have people. you have elizabeth warren . you have hawaii. you have tammy baldwin . [ inaudible ]
>> i don't know if he's going to come for her. none of those people has what hillary has. one word, universal name id. you know how expensive it is to buy name identity?
>> hillary clinton had a lot of name recognition when she got beat by a guy