A former top aide to Hillary Clinton was unwilling this week to dispel rumors that the former secretary of state may be preparing to run for president again.
Philippe Reines, a longtime adviser to Clinton during her days in the State Department and as a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, fanned the flames Wednesday of the recurring rumor that Clinton may be gearing up for a third run at the White House.
“You know, she ran for president [in 2008 and 2016] because she thought she would be the best president,” Reines told the Fox News host Tucker Carlson. “If she still thought that now, if she thought she had the best odds of beating Donald Trump — I think she would think about it long and hard.”
Top Hillary Clinton adviser Philippe Reines on whether Hillary has ruled out running for president in 2020: “No, she has not” pic.twitter.com/wLLItEF5Wo
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) October 24, 2019
“She hasn’t foreclosed the possibility, I guess that’s what I’m saying?” Carlson asked.
“No, she has not,” Reines clarified, agreeing with Carlson’s assertion that this would not “surprise anybody who’s followed the Clintons.”
Speculation has long circulated that the two-time failed presidential candidate may be surveying the 2020 Democratic presidential primary field for a beachhead from which to launch an assault as a late entrant.
Steve Bannon, a former White House chief strategist, brought an air of legitimacy to the rumors earlier this month, suggesting Clinton was lying in wait for infighting to cripple former vice president and then-commanding front-runner Joe Biden.
“She is running,” Bannon told Fox Business host Trish Regan. “She’s just trying to decide how to fit her way in,”
“It’s like in chess, they’re prepared to sacrifice a rook to take down a king,” Bannon said. “[The Democrats] will throw Biden away to get to Trump and hope Elizabeth [Warren] or I even think Hillary Clinton or [Michael] Bloomberg or some centrist comes in here.”
Bannon’s forecast has come to fruition, at least in part, as Biden has been caught up in the Ukraine scandal that Democrats and the establishment media are trying to use to take down President Donald Trump
As Biden’s polling numbers began to descend, the Clinton camp added fuel to the fire, with Clinton herself attacking Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard — a long-shot candidate for the Democratic nomination — as a Russian asset.
Clinton’s remarks sparked a heated feud between the two politicians, and caused many to speculate that the 2016 Democratic nominee was ready for another round in the ring.
Even if she did decide to run again, the odds of a Clinton victory would likely be slim.
Failed major party nominees rarely see success with the modern American electorate when mounting a second or third campaign.
One notable exception would be former President Richard Nixon, who was elected in 1968, 8 years after he was defeated in the general election by John F. Kennedy.
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