What Democrats Will Run For President? There’s One Obvious Frontrunner

Seems like the Republican Party positively can't wait to get the 2016 presidential race underway, and frankly, it's not hard to see why. With both houses of Congress under GOP control, and many different conservative bills likely to be passed and sent to President Obama's desk, the politics of the moment seem stacked solidly in their favor. But on the other side of the aisle, there's a distinct lack of brouhaha — which Democrat will first announce their presidential run?

Make no mistake, we've already got a pretty solid idea who the real power-players on the blue team will be in the upcoming campaign season — or, to be blunt, who the real singular power player is. Amid a long 2014 of speaking engagements, widespread speculation, and a book tour everyone kinda pretended to care about while hoping she'd announce her run for presidency, it's just about as clear as ever that Hillary Clinton will be leading the pack, vying to be the first woman to win the White House in American history.

And for a while, it seemed like she was going to make it official in relatively short order. Back in September after all, she said she was planning to make her decision public at some point during January. As of this writing, that's only 13 more days.

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But in December, the tune started to change. According to The Washington Post, Clinton pushed back her campaign announcement another few months, into the spring of 2015. Which means, if a rival Democrat wanted to try to upstage her (good luck on that one) they could always try to roll out a campaign before then. By no means is Hillary an iron-clad lock to win the nomination — a similar aura of certainty didn't do her much good in 2008 — but until somebody is actually willing to step forward and say "I'll challenge her," the road to the presidency will continue to look jarringly simple. Some possibilities that have been tossed around:

  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who enjoys a huge base of support within the Democratic left and could represent the most serious challenge to Clinton. She's insisted she won't run, however.
  • Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, who's come the closest to actually launching a campaign so far — he's in the exploratory phase right now. Exploring whether Americans are craving a return to gruff old white men in the Oval Office, perhaps?
  • Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, a long-shot bid if ever there was one, but someone who could be well-served to grab a little limelight while he still can.
  • Speaking of long-shots, let's not forget Vice President Joe Biden and Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. If it sounds ungenerous to lump a sitting vice president's chances in with the openly-socialist 73-year-old, I'm sorry, but as the 2008 primaries and subsequent polling has proved, nobody is all that excited about Biden for president. Both he and Sanders polled at 2 percent back in December.
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So, how long will it be before a Democrat makes it official? In short, it's impossible to know for sure, because Hillary's clearly willing to change her plans, but you ought to expect her announcement sometime over the next few months, likely followed by a cascade of challengers. Here's hoping it all kicks off sooner rather than later — can't you already feel that campaign itch?

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