2014 marks my tenth year attending the CGI. When former US President William J. Clinton first launched the initiative back in 2005, it broke down many of the silos that existed within the development community. Policy makers, academics, and private sector leaders began to have honest discussions. Relationships began, and partnerships emerged.
A year later and the black flags of the Islamic State (formerly ISIS), currently fluttering across lands from from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala north-east of Baghdad, have once again pushed the noxious issue of intervention to the forefront of the US foreign policy debate - a discourse that is further dividing an already fractured Republican Party, with the question of action versus non-action likely to run all the way to the 2016 election.
Is she running or isn't she? Should she run or shouldn't she? And why has she travelled "across the pond" to bring Hard Choices to the fore on English soil? And why here, why now? These were the questions we pondered as we queued outside Waterstones' flagship store at Piccadilly, on a humid, warmish morning last Thursday...
Will Warren dare to run against Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination for the presidency? She repeatedly tells reporters that she is "not running" for president, but hasn't ruled it out. She is 64. If Clinton runs, wins and serves two terms, there won't be a White House vacancy until 2024, when the Massachusetts senator will be 75. It's 2016 or never.
Did anyone ever think that Bill Clinton, perhaps the greatest politician of our time, even rivaling LBJ, would ever go "gently into that good night"? WJC now seems to be in his element, relishing the fact that GOP hitman-in-chief Karl Rove has thrown down his chain-mailed gauntlet and gone after his beloved Hillary, questioning her health and ability to serve as president.
It's not official yet. But, when you closely observe the subtle shifts in power corridors within the offices of Democrats and Republicans in the mighty United States of America, there seems to be a definite drift to candidatures. Two independent candidates: Tami Stainfield and Samm Tittle have already made their candidature known for the Presidential elections in 2016.