(Photo: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque)
Outgoing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who got a 75 percent approval rating in a Siena poll last week, could be "a great president" if she seeks the Democratic nomination, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley said. Former GOP candidate Newt Gingrich also said she would have a good chance to win.
Clinton has said she doesn't want to run for president, but if she does she could be "a great president," O'Malley, a Democrat who is said to be considering a 2016 bid himself, said in an interview on the "Square Off" show, aired on Baltimore's ABC affiliate WMAR, on Sunday.
"She's great. I think she's an outstanding leader, and I think she could be a great president, if she chooses to do it," said O'Malley, who endorsed Clinton when she sought the 2008 nomination against President Barack Obama.
About his own ambitions, the governor said, "I don't know that anyone in their right mind, you know, looks at that awesome responsibility without having to do a lot of soul searching and a lot of discernment and introspection." But then he also added, "The reason I'm able to hear people talk about that possibility and not be wigged out by it is that I know it's a reflection of the good things the people of our state have done in these difficult years."
President Bill Clinton's aide James Carville said a vast majority of the Democrats want the Secretary of State to run for president.
"I don't know what she's going to do, but I do know this: The Democrats want her to run. And I don't just mean a lot of Democrats. I mean a whole lot of Democrats, like 90 percent across the country," Carville said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos."
"We just want to win. We think she's the best person and shut it down. And that's across the board."
On NBC's "Meet the Press," even former House Speaker Gingrich said it would be "virtually impossible" for Clinton to lose the Democratic nomination if she sought it. The Republican Party in its currently hashed state would be "incapable" of competing against her in the general election, he went on to say.
Clinton, who has said she plans to resign next year, if supported by former President Clinton and "presumably a still relatively popular President Barack Obama," will be truly the "Super Bowl" in 2016, Gingrich added.
However, Carville's wife Mary Matalin, a Republican political adviser, thinks otherwise. "I love Hillary," she said on ABC. "I wish she would run. But it defies human nature to think that Democrats, even though they are redistributionist and utopians, would not be competitive – that [Virginia Sen. Mark] Warner, or all these other Democrats who've been waiting in the wings, are going to have a dynasty, since Democrats are always complaining about these dynasties, they're going to have another Clinton step up, and everyone's going to go, yeah, step back? I don't think so."
Republican strategist Matthew Dowd added to what Matalin said, saying, "The whole race in 2016 right now pivots off of her. I think that, whether or not other Democrats run, it's all going to pivot off of her. And even the Republicans to a degree are going to pivot off what she does."