Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Hillary Watch 2016

By Richard K. Barry

My guess is that a lot of people will be trying to read the tea leaves when it comes to whether Hillary Clinton will or won't go for it in 2016.

The latest is a report by Politicker that Ms. Clinton took it upon herself to send hand-signed notes to Democratic candidates who fell short in their congressional races:

For example, Nate Shinagawa, who narrowly lost his challenge to GOP Rep. Tom Reed in Western New York, received a missive from Ms. Clinton two days after his defeat. In her letter, Ms. Clinton offered some supportive words and encouragement for Mr. Shinagawa's future political endeavors.

"You should be proud of your campaign and the dialogue you had with voters about the values we hold dear as Democrats," Ms. Clinton wrote. "Thank you for accepting the challenge of seeking public office and for your commitment to creating a better future for the American people."

Several sources have said that this is something new for Hillary Clinton, saying that as far as they knew she had not sent similar letters in the past.

And while it's true that this proves nothing, at the very least it shows that she is keeping her options open and spending the time to make sure, should she jump in, the necessary ground work has been done.

My two cents is that she really hasn't made up her mind but will give "retirement" a shot to see what it feels like. She'll have to wait to see how she reacts when the phone stops ringing quite as often as it had in the past. Maybe she'll like it, maybe she won't.

I'm guessing that a fairly clear path to the nomination will make it too tempting to resist. And if things went terribly awry and she lost again, so what? To quote one of my favourite sports metaphors, I think Ms. Clinton is one of those who will want to "leave it all on the field."

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