Mystery calls again bring Hillary Clinton’s name into 2012 election conversation

Hillary Clinton“America would be better off today if Hillary Clinton was our president,” recites a woman sounding a little bit like, but definitely not, Hillary Clinton.

“The Wall Street robber barons would be jailed, young people could afford college and find jobs and 6 million homeowners wouldn’t face foreclosure.” And? And please go to RunHillary2012.net and sign a petition, the call concludes, to persuade the onetime presidential candidate to go for it again.Why? Who knows? We are in the two-week lull before voters actually begin to vote on a Republican candidate for president. It is a period of restiveness in the political land. And in that land, it seems that Clinton is forever destined to be a person of intrigue.

Never mind that the secretary of state is figuring out how to deal with the sudden ascension to power in North Korea of a 20-something with nuclear weapons.Never mind that a spokesman at the State Department refused to comment Tuesday on the Hillary-for-president movement. For the umpteenth time. Never mind that Clinton has repeatedly been clear about her intentions in 2012 and beyond. (Chelsea! What your mother says she really wants is a grandchild.)“It’s ridiculous. This is all just silly mischief-making by a very small group of people” — and he sighs — “with nothing better to do,” said Mo Elleithee, who served as Clinton’s national press secretary in the 2008 campaign.

And yet some wistful thinkers or mischief makers are always floating Clinton’s name.In October 2010, Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward went on CNN and declared that Clinton was under consideration by the White House to replace Vice President Biden on the reelection ticket. The White House and Clinton both pushed back hard on the report the next day.The following month, former Clinton pollster Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell argued in The Post’s Outlook section that President Obama should do the nation a big favor and secure his own greatness by holding himself to one term.

“Draft Hillary” petitions began to burble about on Facebook and via Twitter; one, at Change.org, reportedly sent so much e-mail into the inbox of Donna Brazile, vice chair of the Democratic National Committee, that she asked the site to send a cease-and-desist to the guy behind the campaign.

Schoen and Caddell kept at it. They wrote in the Wall Street Journal that Clinton would make a better president, and this week they wrote in Politico that New Hampshire Democrats and independents should write in her name on the Granite State primary ballot Jan. 10.Next the robo-calls spread across the country, for reasons that remain unclear and inexplicable. Both Schoen and Caddell voiced amazement at the robo-call campaign in interviews Tuesday and said they have nothing to do with it.The reactions of those who got the calls were baffled or peeved, some of them in unprintable ways, judging by their narrative on Twitter.