ALTHOUGH they are worlds apart, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Manuel Roxas share many things in common.

Both were former members of their respective Senate, Hillary representing New York, Mar elected nationally.

Most prominent of all their similarities is their intention to become their country’s president, respectively, in the 2016 United States and Philippine national elections.

Retired U.S. Secretary of States, Clinton fought tooth-and-nail for the U.S. Democratic presidential primary in 2008, a close contest won by reelected President Barack Obama.

The two rivals have turned friends after Hillary accepted Barack’s offer to join his Cabinet in his first administration.

Hillary and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, were crucial supporters of Obama in the last presidential race.

On the other hand, Mar Roxas was a leading contender for Philippine president in 2010, only to give way to now President Benigno Aquino III.

In typical Philippine horsetrading, Mar slid down as Aquino’s running mate, only to lose to Vice President Jejomar Binay.

For a while Mar sulked, but soon was energized again when Aquino tapped him, first, as Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications, and later, as Secretary of Interior and Local Government, replacing the late Jesse Robredo who perished in a place crash off Masbate.

Mar practically jumped at the chance to head a department with daily contact and supervision of local government officials who normally hold the key to electing a president.

With tacit Aquino’s go-signal, the administration’s ruling Liberal Party recently endorsed Mar as the party’s presidential bet in 2016.

If Aquino does well when he ends his term three years hence, Mar might be a shoo-in, but that is iffy at best.

As things stand now, Binay will be the principal — and very formidable — opposition presidential standard bearer.

Binay vs. Mar will be a blockbuster.

In the case of Hillary, she will also be a strong contender for the White House, especially if Obama does well.

Hillary will make history as the first woman U.S. president, much like Obama’s becoming the first — and reelected — African-American U.S. president.

But why is Obama (unlike Aquino) still coy about endorsing her as his successor?

Vice President Joe Biden is probably the reason why.

It seems that he is interested in becoming the Democratic presidential hopeful.

He thinks he has a vested right, having been VP for two terms.

For now, there is no other Democratic star of presidential stature.

It is to the Dem credit that the GOP is in disarray after its licking in the recent polls, notably by being bushwhacked by a forceful Latino vote angered by Republican’s anti-immigrant policy.

Obama and the White House are now scrambling to pass immigration legislation to fix a broken system to finally give a path to citizenship to at least 11 undocumented aliens in the U.S.

But there are still many skeptics of this happening.

For instance, the influential A.F.L.-C.I.O. “detests” a provision creating a temporary work visas, arguing that it was a license for businesses to hire cheap foreign labor.

But what is working for immigration reform this time is the current environment of a strong bipartisan support in the U.S. Congress.

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