And by listen, we mean "listen to the expected news that Hillary Clinton will run for president in 2008." The NY Times reports that Hillary Clinton has been meeting with "top New York Democratic officials" to explain her 2008 plans and ask for their support when that happens. According to anonymous sources, Clinton has met with Representative Charles Rangel and State Democratic Party chair Herman D. Farrel Jr., and may meet with Governor-elect Eliot Spitzer today.
Why all the maneuvering? Well, media darling Senator Barack Obama is headed to New Hampshire for a visit this month - and Obama is considered a strong contender for 2008. And even though Clinton's message is that she's thinking about running, though nothing is definite yet, all anonymous officials say she's "strongly inclined to run for the presidency and was eager to do so." From the NY Times:
The senior Clinton adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity noted that the Clinton camp, with the political and financial assets accrued during Mr. Clinton’s presidency and Senator Clinton’s own career, was a powerful political force that did not have to hew to any timetable. At the same time, the adviser acknowledged, she cannot wait too long to assemble a campaign operation.
“She can relax through the holidays and into the beginning of next year,” the adviser said. “But beginning of next year, she and everybody else who is thinking about this has to start signaling that you are serious. At some point, you have to start locking down political operatives.”
After her re-election this past November, Republican Representative Peter King said that the GOP shouldn't underestimate the power of Hillary - or Bill. And New York magazine wondered if Clinton should run for President when she's doing an effective job in New York (all while seemingly happy!).
Photograph of Senator Clinton with an admirer outside an NYC firehouse taken after her November re-election by Seth Wenig/AP