Hillary Clinton viewed as the 2016 incumbent?
As Hillary continues moving toward a likely campaign announcement in July, there has been little opposition offered among her democratic peers. Sure, there are factions rallying behind Elizabeth Warren, but that has proved fruitless since Warren has unequivocally stated she’s not running in 2016. Jim Webb, former Democratic Senator from Virginia, has announced an exploratory committee and intention to run yet he hasn’t so much garnered a yawn in most democratic primary polls.
Report from NBC News:
And here’s what we learned about Hillary Clinton this week: She looks more like an incumbent president running for re-election than your traditional presidential candidate. Think about it: She’s brought on key parts of President Obama’s 2012 team, and is now grabbing Obama’s White House communications director. And right now, it looks like she will face little to no real primary challenge.
In his National Journal column, Charlie Cook writes that what Hillary Clinton is doing is pretty unprecedented. “History suggests that in open presidential nomination contests, front-runners rarely go from the starting line to the finish without losing a few primaries or caucuses along the way. Usually the leader stumbles, or a protest vote develops somewhere in the process, or another candidate catches a bit of luck or sparks a bit of interest.” And even in the case of Al Gore, who didn’t stumble in the 2000 primaries, he received a legitimate challenge from Bill Bradley. But here’s the deal about Hillary: It doesn’t look like she will receive a legitimate primary challenge, making her look more like an incumbent president running for president.
I’m betting this is a topic the Clinton campaign is considering behind closed doors. Do they try to push forward, eliminating all opposition and avoid a primary fight, or do they let the process to unfold, allow for token opposition, and assume Hillary will prevail at the end?
The prospect looms larger given the Democratic National Committee is uncertain about scheduling primary debates. Typically venues and dates are set months in advance yet the DNC is still waiting to see what the field will look like.
This election cycle is shaping up to be a truly fascinating one to watch.