How much longer will it be? More or less everyone in the world of major Democratic Party politics (and, well, the world) has been waiting for months to get the official word from Hillary Clinton — yea or nay, in or out? Well, it's possible the the big announcement could be coming sooner than we've previously been led to believe. According to a report by The New York Times' Amy Chozick, Hillary Clinton may announce her presidential run early, right after the midterm elections in November, in the event that the Democratic Party is dealt a bad loss at the polls.
It would be a major change in plans from what she's publicly suggested before, which was that she'd likely announce sometime early next year. According to Chozick's report, sources close to Hillary indicated that heavy Democratic losses could hasten her plans to enter the race and kick off the long, long presidential season. Enter the race for all intents and purposes, that is — she'd need to launch an exploratory committee to begin fundraising. And as everyone knows, you can never have enough funding, especially if your party is on the outs and gearing up for a big challenge in a couple years.
It's difficult not to see how much sense this makes, If Hillary does indeed decide to pull her plans forward — if there's a Republican-controlled Congress in waiting, imperiling President Obama's late-term agenda in advance of the 2016 general election, her jumping into the race immediately would likely solidify her as the Democrats' most significant standard-bearer going forward.
With the amount of obstructionism in the Senate while Republicans were in the minority, it's safe to say that a Republican majority wouldn't be playing nice on anything Obama deeply wants to achieve in his remaining two years, not with the promise of a possible Republican president right around the corner in 2016.
Whether the final two years of the Obama presidency would end up being like a last line of defense, with frequent vetoes of conservative bills passed through Congress, or whether Obama would cooperate with the GOP and give concessions, it makes sense for Hillary to want to differentiate herself early and hang onto that "face of the party" mantle in the meantime. It could conceivably be both in her best interests, and the best interests of the Democratic Party writ large, and that's a good sign for her.
As the Washington Post's Philip Bump pointed out in response to the Times report, however, this much is undeniable: it would be a pretty early jump into the pool as far as presidential announcements go, months earlier than history would suggest is likely. And obviously, risk of overexposure is a very real thing for political candidates, as you could argue that America already knows Hillary pretty well with or without the extra three months or so. And yet, doesn't it kind of make sense? Everybody basically assumes she's running at this point, so why not get it over with, and grab the high ground?
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