As Julius Caesar was being stabbed to death on March 15, 44 B.C., he saw behind him his trusted friend Bruits, with a knife held high. Dying, Caesar said, "Et Tu, Bruits?" "And also you, Bruits?" Then Bruits plunged the knife into his ruler's body.
As our historic President struggles with the difficulties of his office and watches his approval rating drop below 45 percent, it seems that Hillary Clinton is preparing to challenge him in the next Democratic Presidential Primary.
In the first 100 years of our nation's history, one of the most powerful executive offices was Secretary of State. Secretary of State became an incubator for future Presidents. During his transition into the office, President Obama offered Hillary Clinton the office of Secretary of State and she accepted.
Whether you admire them or not, the Clinton's are expert politicians who virtually never swerve from their goals. Just because Hillary was awarded the consolation prize, doesn't mean that stopped planning for her next chance to win the grand prize, the presidency.
What makes me believe that she may be preparing to run again in 2012? There are several indicators.
News stories and commentaries have been popping up about Hillary and Bill continuing to maintain close relationships with the people who were their core team when they were in the White House. People like James Carville.
During this oil spill fiasco, James Carville was interviewed by a TV news reporter and went off on a rant against the President for not doing anything for weeks to protect the people of New Orleans from the coming environmental catastrophe. He drew a clear parallel to President Bush and Hurricane Katrina and exclaimed, "We are dying here!" You would expect a trusted adviser to President Obama to share such potent concerns in private rather than in front of TV cameras.
Bill Clinton recently went to Arkansas to save the candidacy of Senator Blanche Lincoln. He pulled it off. The message to other party members may now be "If President Obama campaigns for you, it is the kiss of death. If the Clinton's support you, they can get you over the finish line."
In recent speeches in places like the current trip to South America, Hillary is starting to express concern about the lack of support by the United States for Israel as the President is publicly thinking about endorsing a U.N. Human Rights Commission investigation of the Gaza fleet episode. She is also expressing concerns about a nuclear Iran that is inconsistent with the President's public statements. Is she presenting herself as a moderate Democratic alternative to the President? Perhaps someone who is experienced and doesn't give the impression of a deer caught in the headlights?
Finally, she has also made a few statements about becoming fatigued by all of the travel her current office requires. It is starting to look like she is waiting for the right moment to publicly lose confidence in the President, something like Israel or Iran, and gracefully tender her resignation.
At that point, the Clinton's can start calling in the favors owed to them. They can argue to the party faithful that while it may be painful to abandon the current President, they can bring back the 1990s. A proposition that may look increasingly enticing to Democratic office holders as 2012 gets closer.
Politics is a remarkably strange thing. Heaven only knows whether the President will again check Hillary's ambitions or if he has the clout to do it. No one knows what world events or even the domestic economy will do a year from now. Perhaps these are just coincidences. Time will tell.