Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly is staying open to the possibility of running for president in 2020.
“Clinton is telling people that she’s not closing the doors to the idea of running in 2020,” CNN White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny said on CNN’s “Inside Politics” over the weekend.
“I’m told by three people that as recently as this week, she was telling people that look, given all this news from the indictments, particularly the Roger Stone indictment, she talked to several people, saying ‘look, I’m not closing the doors to this,'” he added.
Zeleny went on to say that does not mean there is a “campaign in waiting, or a plan in the works.”
The correspondent related that a close friend of Clinton told him, “it would surprise me greatly if she actually did it.”
“Most losing presidential candidates never totally close the doors to running for president” again, Zeleny said.
“But I think we have to at least leave our mind open to the possibility that she is still talking about it. She wants to take on Trump. Could she win a Democratic primary to do it? I don’t know the answer to that.”
The Washington Post’s Colby Itkowitz noted that Clinton, 71, would find a very different playing field in seeking to secure the nomination in 2020 than she found in 2016, when Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont was her only viable rival.
There are other women who have already thrown their hats in the ring, like Sens. Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, meaning they could claim the mantle of potentially being the first female president, as well.
Itkowitz went on to point out it’s been over 50 years since a past presidential nominee came back to win the White House.
Republican Richard Nixon lost to Democrat John Kennedy in 1960, only to come back in 1968 and defeat then-Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
Clinton’s case could easily be considered more akin to Democratic nominee Adlai Stevenson, who lost twice to Dwight Eisenhower during the 1950s.
However, Eisenhower was a popular president and war hero, while Trump’s approval rating has stayed below 50 percent for much of his time in office.
Unfortunately for Clinton, her approval rating is worse. As of September 2018, hers was at 36 percent, according to Gallup,
In October, Clinton told Recode’s Kara Swisher when asked about running again, “Well, I’d like to be president.”
“Look, I think, hopefully, when we have a Democrat in the Oval Office in January of 2021, there’s going to be so much work to be done,” she said. “We have confused everyone in the world, including ourselves.”
“The work would be work that I feel very well-prepared for, having been in the Senate for eight years, having been a diplomat in the State Department. It’s just gonna be a lot of heavy lifting,” Clinton said.
Swisher asked, “Are you going to be doing any of that lifting?”
“Oh, I have no idea Kara, but I’m not even going to think about it until we get through this November 6th election about what’s going to happen after that,” the former secretary of state replied.
A further signal of a potential presidential bid came from former Clinton top aide Philippe Reines, who told Politico last fall her chances of running are “not zero.”
“It’s curious why Hillary Clinton’s name isn’t in the mix — either conversationally or in formal polling — as a 2020 candidate,” Reines said.
“She’s younger than Donald Trump by a year,” he added. “She’s younger than Joe Biden by four years. Is it that she’s run before? This would be Bernie Sanders’ second time, and Biden’s third time. Is it lack of support? She had 65 million people vote for her.”
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