Milwaukee, Wisconsin. On a chilly October afternoon in the year of 2015, a woman beloved by many people, but hated by others stood. Her face showed age, but vigor and determination still showed through her vibrant blue eyes. This woman was Hillary Clinton: a woman who has had many expectations, and somebody who has been the subject of political buzz since President Obama won his fight for reelection. News cameras fixated on her as she walked up to the podium to speak to the enormous crowd eager to hear what she said, and an eager nation that was holding their breath.
"Welcome. I want to thank you all for coming on this chilly afternoon."
The former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State drew in a deep breath of the frigid air as she surveyed the crowd. Thousands of eyes appeared to glimmer with hope, and she knew millions waited to pounce on her next words.
"I feel honored to have served this country for many years. I stood faithfully by my husband as he went through the ups and downs of his presidency. I served the state of New York as its senator, and then the nation as Secretary of State. I faced many challenges in public office, but have come back with courage for the people of this great nation. I may not be perfect, but I served with the best of my ability, and the fullest of my heart."
The crowd roared, the energy radiating from them seeming to speed up the vibration of the air molecules around them.
"Many people have spoken about me since my retirement. Many people have wanted me to run for the highest office in the US, one I have pursued and the people around me have supported my pursuit."
The crowd started its chant as a metronome of "Hillary! Hillary! Hillary!" She smiled, nodded her head, and waved her hand in a gesture to quiet the crowd.
"Thank you, I truly appreciate your support. However, I have not come here to push anymore. As I stated, I have served this great nation for many years, but this time must come to an end. My husband and I are finally getting a relationship as close to one we had just after our marriage, and my decision is not to run for President of the United States. I will fully support whoever the Democratic Party chooses to nominate and will campaign on their behalf. I want to truly thank you for all of the wonderful support I have been given these many decades I have spent in the public spotlight, and I hope you can continue to support the values I have worked to uphold all of these years."
She smiled and waved as she stepped off of the podium and took her husband's hand. There were isolated vocal displays of frustration and disappointment initially, but after a few seconds the crowd began to take up a feverish cheer. To the dismay of the event security, the Clintons walked into the crowd and began to shake hands. After seeing a number of people, they exited the park and stepped into the car waiting nearby. Some fanatics, mainly media paparazzi, started chasing after the car.
Some were bewildered and disappointed; some were giving a sigh of relief and joyful. One thing was sure: 2016 was suddenly up for grabs, and they were ready to pounce.
"The Democratic Party needs a strong woman candidate that can appeal to a wide range of Americans. My support was behind Hillary, but after she gracefully bowed out, I feel compelled to run in order to make a stand for the values of progressivism and to continue to bring the Democratic Party policy to the middle class American. I officially announce my candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Presidency of the United States."- Senator Amy Klobuchar in Minneapolis on October 18, 2015
- Governor Martin O'Malley in Baltimore on October 18, 2015
"Eight years of the Obama administration has taken an enormous toll on America. We need somebody who can control the the government that has inflated out of control, and I believe that I am the best man to do that job. That is why I have decided to officially announce my candidacy for the presidency."
- Senator Rand Paul in Louisville on October 19, 2015
"The damage has been done. It is time we get common sense back in Washington, and not anymore snobby politicians who won't compromise. If we want to get this party back in the White House, we need common sense, and that is why I am running for president."
- Governor Chris Christie in Newark on October 20, 2015
"I hope that the Republican Party recognizes its mistake in not picking me to be its nominee in 2012. I have some of the strongest conservative credentials and can truly reverse what burdens the Obama administration has placed upon the American people."
- Former Senator Rick Santorum in Des Moines on October 22, 2015
----------Cruz, Gillibrand mum on presidential prospects while Hickenlooper rises
Chris Bradford, ANN Contributor
20 October 2015, updated 7:56 PM EST
The presidential race has exponentially expanded in proportion after Clinton's announcement that she will not be seeking the presidency. Many big players have entered the race so far, but more are still expected to do so. One of those that are the subject of speculation is Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, who has made comments alluding to a possible presidential run since 2013. Many have considered a run from him likely, but he has remained vague in his comments relating to a possible run, stating that "he is weighing his options" and that "the presidential race is in dire need of a strong conservative."
Another widely speculated candidate is Senator Gillibrand of New York, who rose into the national spotlight after her speech calling for massive defense spending reform and her success in passing multiple related bills in 2014. Much of the Hillary camp has pushed her to run, giving her a possible enormous base of support. So far she has states that a run is "not out of the cards" but that it will be a hard decision to make. However, another person that faces rising speculation is Governor Hickenlooper of Colorado, even though he has repeatedly said no to a presidential run before. Theoretical polls place him at 3rd place at 15%, but his numbers have steadily risen in the past few months and continue to rise. He is increasing in popularity among progressives due to his successful lead in the implementation of marijuana legalization in Colorado, and many consider him to be a better candidate than Klobuchar or O'Malley. Governor Hickenlooper has not responded to these messages yet.
Here is the polling thus far for the people who have officially declared their candidacy. Governor O'Malley leads with a slim 3% margin on the Democratic side, but with a significant chunk of undecideds, while Senator Paul has just under a 2% lead in the Republican field. These numbers are apt to change quite a bit more as we get closer to the the Iowa caucus.