'Draft Hillary' robo-calls hit some states

Dec. 21, 2011 at 8:32 AM
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WASHINGTON, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- A robo-call advocating U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president is the latest event dropping Clinton's name into the 2012 race, observers say.

Clinton has made it clear that she doesn't intend to remain in the political arena in 2012 and beyond -- in fact she wants to be a grandmother now that her daughter, Chelsea , is married.

"It's ridiculous. This is all just silly mischief-making by a very small group of people ... with nothing better to do," Mo Elleithee, Clinton's national press secretary during the 2008 campaign, told The Washington Post in an article published Tuesday.

Robo-calls were made in Maryland, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, and Michigan, Florida, New York and Arizona saying the country would be "better off today if Hillary Clinton was our president."

The calls urge listeners to go to RunHillary2012.net and sign a petition to try to persuade Clinton to run again.

Clinton's name has been bandied about for either president or vice president since 2010. In October 2010, Post reporter Bob Woodward said Clinton was being considered as a replacement for Vice President Joe Biden on the re-election ticket, which the White House and Clinton denied.

"Draft Hillary" petitions began to circulating on Facebook and Twitter and elsewhere on the Internet.

"Nobody really knows" who's behind the robo-calls, said Shaun Dakin, who started StopPoliticalCalls.org and helped write legislation Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced that would more strictly regulate the practice. "There are all kinds of theories. It's the Republicans, it's Karl Rove. ... It's the PUMAs," female activists who backed Clinton in 2008.

Whoever it is, "the fundamental flaw in this logic," Elleithee said, is that Clinton supports Obama and his re-election. "And poll after poll after poll shows that Democrats are united behind their standard-bearer."

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