Hillary Clinton Readies a 2016 Campaign
Around the State
The former secretary of state was in the spotlight Tuesday night when she spoke on women’s issues at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. The event marked Clinton’s first public appearance since leaving the Obama administration in January.
While the event was nonpolitical, Clinton supporters rallied outside the Kennedy Center. Only a few hours before Clinton spoke on Tuesday night, “Ready for Hillary," a super-PAC, launched its website.
Formed in January after Clinton left the Obama administration, the group already boasts having more than 100,000 email addresses, almost 60,000 followers on Facebook and a staff of political and campaign veterans. Ready for Hillary is already raising funds for 2016.
"We are grateful for the outpouring of support we have received from Hillary supporters of all walks of life and we're proud of the professional team we have put together," Allida Black, the chairwoman of the PAC, said in a statement earlier this week. "Every day, we talk to more and more longtime Hillary backers who are excited about Ready for Hillary's efforts and asking how they can help. After two months of hard work, we are 100 percent confident that we'll have the resources and grassroots activism we need. As Hillary supporters love to say: you ain't seen nothin' yet."
While Clinton certainly has a strong base of support in the Democratic ranks, the same held true when she ran for the presidency in 2008 and came up second behind Barack Obama. Still, the potential Democratic field in 2016 does not appear to be as strong as it did in 2008.
Clinton’s chief Democratic rival, according to the polls, would be an old foe from the 2008 campaign -- Vice President Joe Biden. But Biden would turn 74 in November 2016 and most pundits do not expect him to make a third presidential bid if Clinton is in the race.
Biden appeared at the same event as Clinton did on Tuesday night and, according to the New York Times, the two Democrats offered each other enthusiastic compliments.
Besides Biden, two other Democrats from Clinton’s old stomping grounds are putting their presidential plans on hold until the former first lady announces her intentions. Both Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York and U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, who holds the U.S. Senate seat that Clinton once held, are being mentioned as possible candidates if Clinton does not enter the race.
Other Democrats being mentioned as possible candidates in 2016 include Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts, former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer of Montana, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.
With some of these possible candidates strongly backing same-sex marriage, Clinton has been moving on the issue. Last month, Clinton released a prerecorded statement in which she expressed support for same-sex marriage.
In the meantime, with presidential buzz starting to grow later, Clinton is doing nothing to quiet it. Clinton has already scheduled other appearances and will speak in Dallas later this month.
Tallahassee political writer Jeff Henderson wrote this analysis piece exclusively for Sunshine State News.