It’s been seven years since Hillary Clinton’s last run at the Oval Office, and about three decades since she was first accused of angling for presidential power—way back in the early 1990s, when she campaigned for universal health care as First Lady.
Things have changed. Americans have finally come around to universal health care, for one, and perhaps even to the idea of a female president. “Although we weren’t able to shatter that highest, hardest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you, it’s got about 18 million cracks in it,” Clinton told supporters at the close of her 2008 campaign, when she ceded the Democratic ticket to Barack Obama. “The path will be a little easier next time,” she concluded.
The “next time” has come. But what has changed since Clinton’s defeat in 2008? For one, she has gained significant foreign diplomacy experience, a former weakness that Obama once derided. As secretary of state for the Obama administration from 2009-2012, Clinton logged 401 days on the road and 87 days just on planes. Her image at home—long cemented in the American imagination as an awkward mix of ex-FLOTUS and eager senator—has evolved to embody a certain cosmopolitanism.
In 2011, an image of Clinton on the phone, wearing sunglasses in a military plane, became a meme about her personal clout. In January 2013, TheAtlantic.com dubbed her “the George Clooney of global affairs.”
On Saturday, Apr. 11, Obama said Clinton ”would be able to handle herself very well in any conversation or debates around foreign policy,” reports Reuters. He added, “I think she would be an excellent president.”
Below, a world tour of Clinton’s new global savvy.