In what would be a presidential election first, there is growing speculation among Democrats and Republicans that the 2012 election will provide a woman versus woman race for the vice presidency.
While odds are against it, Democrats are again pressing the White House to consider replacing Vice President Joe Biden with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
And Republicans, wowed by her campaign and fundraising, are talking about Rep. Michele Bachmann as their No. 2 next fall. "She could serve well," says fellow Minnesotan Norm Coleman, a former senator who backs Mitt Romney for president. "She has benefited from national exposure. I think she's handled herself extraordinarily well in the debates. She has exceeded a lot of expectations," Coleman says.
Meanwhile, panicky Democrats are looking for ways for President Obama to reel in educated whites, and that is an audience very attracted to Clinton. A key Democratic source says Clinton could help revive the depressed liberal Democratic base, raise tons of money, and bring in Clinton backers, with whom the administration has had a cool relationship. [Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]
What's more, they are making the case that Clinton offers Obama a potential lasting legacy that even Bill Clinton doesn't have: potentially getting his vice president elected to succeed him. And of course paving the way for the first woman president.
"There could be no better legacy than for the first black president to help elect the first woman president," said an ally of the Clinton clan.