Thousands upon thousands of words and on-air minutes have been dedicated to speculation about whether or not white whale 2008 candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton will actually run for president in 2008. Until this week, both had been cagey. Then suddenly they both got real. Obama had the last word, saying Sunday on Meet the Press that he is considering an ’08 run. On the eve of a new volley of political speculation, Radar offers an out-of-the-gate analysis of both candidates potential—based solely on their transformative arcs from full-on denials to likely candidacies.
• Clinton: “I don’t have any intentions or plans for running”—June 9, 2003
• Obama: “I am not running for president. I am not running for president in four years. I am not running for president in 2008.”—November 3, 2004
• Clinton: “I’m just trying to do my job as a senator. That’s all I’m trying to do.”—December 8, 2005, Chicago Daily Herald
• Obama: “So look, I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years, and my entire focus is making sure that I’m the best possible senator on behalf of the people of Illinois.”—Nov 4, 2004, Chicago Sun-Times