- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 17, 2013

In yet another sign of what Democratic Party faithfuls are pushing as the inevitable, Hillary Rodham Clinton was introduced at a public event earlier this week — by a former Mitt Romney voter, no less — as the next leader of the free world.

At a black-tie Elton John AIDS Foundation event, Revlon business guru and billionaire Ronald Perelman made the introductions: Here’s Mrs. Clinton, “the next president of the United States,” The New York Post reported. Moreover, Mr. Perelman, who is an independent who nonetheless voted Republican in the last presidential election, told the former secretary of state: “You’ve got my vote.”

The statement follows Mrs. Clinton’s own seeming mark of White House territory earlier this week, when she made a jab at the one Democrat who’s seen as her strongest opponent in a presidential primary — Vice President Joseph R. Biden. Earlier this week, Mrs. Clinton emphasized during public remarks that unlike Mr. Biden, she stood solidly in support of the Osama bin Laden raid.

Political analysts widely viewed the remarks as a political strategy on Mrs. Clinton’s part to distance herself from Mr. Biden in the lead-up to campaign season and to showcase herself as the stronger leader.

Also on hand to witness Mrs. Clinton’s informal naming as the next president: Huma Abedin, wife of former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who recently lost his bid for New York mayor due in part to his ongoing sexting scandals.

Her presence would seem a final decision on the matter of Ms. Abedin’s political future with Mrs. Clinton.

SEE ALSO: Hillary Clinton jabs at Joe Biden: He didn’t want bin Laden raid

In recent weeks, talk has swirled that Mrs. Clinton’s camp demanded Ms. Abedin choose: Mr. Weiner or her aide position. That talk was then toned down, and Mrs. Clinton’s camp started putting out messages that the former first lady — who suffered her own public humiliation over her husband’s infidelities — would not kick Ms. Abedin to the curb, but rather keep her under the political wing, only in a less visible role.

Mrs. Clinton has not formally declared her presidential bid for 2016.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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