Clinton campaign not a done deal, some advisers say
March 19th, 2014
06:31 PM ET
9 years ago

Clinton campaign not a done deal, some advisers say

New York (CNN) – With more than 960 days still to go before the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton already finds herself the subject of almost-constant speculation.

As she increases her visibility on policy issues, addressing gender inequality and early childhood education through her family's nonprofit group, The Clinton Foundation, and repeatedly weighing in on the conflict in Ukraine, the focus of her supporters and the media has been squarely on whether she will run for president.

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Clinton even joked about the near-obsession in an address to the Association of American Publishers Wednesday, saying she had expected more down time after stepping down as secretary of state last year. Wryly, she said she recalled thinking: "there'd be no more interview requests, no frantic media speculation about my plans," to much laughter from the audience.

Clinton jokingly mulls titles for upcoming book

But as a 2016 candidacy increasingly seems all but inevitable to many, loyalists to the former secretary of state are trying to tamp down expectations that she definitely will run.

They fall into two groups. Some are staunch supporters who want Clinton to run but are concerned the pressure on her to make a decision so early could effectively force her into a protracted campaign. One Democratic strategist and Clinton supporter described her camp as "overwhelmed" by the narrative that her candidacy is a foregone conclusion.

"They really want to tamp down on that," the strategist said.

A smaller but influential contingent, including Clinton's State Department chief of staff Cheryl Mills, as well as Maggie Williams, her longtime aide and 2008 campaign manager, have voiced opposition to a presidential run, several sources tell CNN. Mills' opposition was reported by The Wall Street Journal.

Hillary Clinton's confidantes flagging their concerns see their role as a counterweight to all the encouragement Clinton has received to toss her hat in the ring, according to several sources.

"Not too many people privately tell her not to run," the strategist said. This group "wants a counter-narrative."

The ambivalence of Hillaryland aides who have weathered the political ups and downs with their boss for decades is very real, another Democratic strategist and Clinton backer told CNN.

"This is from people who are like sisters for her, who think 'someone else can run the country, I don't want my friend to go through this crap,'" the source said, but also added, "If you love your country and you want to make history, and you know how hard it is to win three (Democratic presidential terms) in a row, she's your only hope."

Hillary Clinton must once again win over some in Jewish community

A smattering of high-power organizations aiming to encourage Clinton to run agree, and are fueling speculation with efforts unprecedented in presidential politics. Super PACs like Ready for Hillary and Priorities USA Action are marshaling allies and funds to help build support for a possible bid, and an operation called Correct the Record rebuts the Republican criticism of Clinton that has already begun.

In a speech Tuesday in Montreal, Clinton seemed to do little to tamp down enthusiasm when she again addressed the question of her political future.

"I haven't made up my mind," she said, but continued: "Of course I feel a deep sense of commitment to my country and its future."

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (29 Responses)
  1. bob

    Her campaign is just missing one important thing, Hilliary. Until she runs it is just speculation.

    March 19, 2014 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  2. brownbuttonglutton

    By 2016 the damage from Democrats will be so great, she will not stand a chance. I know CNN is trying to push her like they did 0bama but without cheating they will lose. Record people on welfare and horrible foreign policy. Propaganda will only work for so long.

    March 19, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  3. Abbey

    "her camp as "overwhelmed" by the narrative that her candidacy is a foregone conclusion."

    Because of CNN and MSNBC you can send them a thank you for blasting the media with this narrative....

    March 19, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Greg

    they just don't want the republicans ganging up on here too early. If it becomes clear that clinton is going to run, republicans will have a focal point to focus on. That would be a major disadvantage for democrats early on...

    March 19, 2014 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  5. Martus

    8 Reasons Democrats Will Not Support Hillary
    1. According to her husband, she is a lesbian; so expect low turnout from blacks and Hispanics who were the majority voters of Defense of Marriage type laws.
    2. She voted for both wars that Democrats blame on Bush. If Democrats now vote for her, their hypocrisy is revealed.
    3. She demonized the victims of her husband's sexual assaults in order to protect him. Therefore, despite her words, her actions make her an anti-feminist and sexual predator enabler.
    4. She only came into power because of who she knew, NOT because of any accomplishment on her own. Democrats HATE cronyism (so they say, not so they do).
    5. She has not done a good job in any of her jobs, and even still refuses to answer questions about Benghazi, but she will have to if she runs.
    6. Her past is rife with scandal. The Whitewater scandal did not affect Bill much because it mostly involved Hillary. Remember?
    7. She is unhealthy and unattractive. Democrats almost always vote for appearance over substance. Look at Obama!
    8. She is a member of the 1% who liberals HATE and blame for all their own failures (but keep electing anyway).

    March 19, 2014 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  6. Walter the Moose

    My goodness. . . who would the Dems run if the H A G doesn't?

    March 19, 2014 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  7. sam

    She has done NOTHING so run by all means.

    March 19, 2014 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  8. Greg

    Hillary and Bill Clinton are horrible people. Neither have a redeeming quality. They are the highest level of takers, they take and take from the American people and consume at taxpayer expense.

    March 19, 2014 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  9. Johnny

    Seems like Clinton News Network spews daily Billary 2016 speculation.

    March 19, 2014 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  10. freedom

    "Of course I feel a deep sense of commitment to my country and its future." The only commitment she feels is the one to herself – she wants power, and will do anything to get it. No thank you.

    March 19, 2014 09:35 pm at 9:35 pm |
  11. Michael

    A family of liars that a great many fools choose to follow....I'm No Fool !!

    March 19, 2014 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  12. 1CDO_RLI

    I can see by the lack of posts, that Americans just can't wait for day she gets in.

    March 19, 2014 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  13. Thugvon

    Too Old and Sick! Couldn't handle Secretary of State but thinks she can be President?

    March 19, 2014 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  14. NorCalMojo

    As far as I can see, she only has two qualifications

    1. her husband
    2. her genitalia

    99% of the support for her is based on those two.

    We don't need a president who calls in sick when things get hairy.

    March 19, 2014 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  15. SlickWillie

    She needs to get a couple of gallons of wrinkle cream - she looks like a dried up old prune.

    March 19, 2014 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. Common sense

    We need someone fresh. No more clintons and Bush. This is not a monarchy.

    March 19, 2014 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  17. Brandy

    Well it really should not matter. Clinton isn't a president anymore.

    March 19, 2014 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  18. johnnysoda

    I don't even know why we should even bother with the election. With CNN declaring her a slam-dunk all the time, let's just cancel the election and make her president now.

    March 19, 2014 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  19. Breaking Good

    C'mon Hillary its your turn to bring it. I can't say any of us has a choice.

    March 19, 2014 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  20. NeoPrudentist

    The Bush Dynasty, the Clinton Dynasty.... Can't we get some new people with new ideas in this country (and not just "change we can believe in that turns out to be a Bush of a different party)?

    A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for the ideas of the nineties. As great as the nineties were, it's time for us to move forward, not backward. Some new blood please, from either party! Stop recycling candidates both of you! I'm tired of seeing the same faces running for primaries from both parties...

    March 19, 2014 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  21. blakenaustin

    As long as the far left media continues its 24×7 propaganda campaign on her behalf, Hillary is all in. If they ever decide to do some real investigative reporting, ask some hard questions, and begin to expose Hillary for the fraud she is, then she might reconsider her presidential run.

    March 19, 2014 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  22. Brian Smith

    If she doesn't want speculation and reporters, then she needs to flatly say she will not run for President – but she isn't doing that, so she must really love all the attention.

    March 19, 2014 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. Mark

    CNN non stop campaigning for Hillary makes me puke in my mouth

    March 19, 2014 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. Mark

    The Clintons had the most scandals in DC ever and the left wing press has been campaigning non stop

    Good luck trying to run on four more years of liberal

    March 19, 2014 11:59 pm at 11:59 pm |
  25. therealzeitgeist

    Hillary Clinton not admitting she's running for President is, in a way, her first lie of the many she'll tell in the coming campaign.

    March 20, 2014 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
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