The planned delay until July seems to be not working out for the Clinton team as the time line keeps speeding up due to situations beyond their control. In recent weeks, other Democrats have begun to tour early primary states and express interest in challenging the former Secretary of State. As a result, Hillary supporters are getting nervous and would like to see some action on the campaign announcement front.
Report from Politico:
Democrats around the country had a clear and stern message for Hillary Clinton on Tuesday after she wrapped up her much-anticipated — if hastily scheduled — news conference on her use of a private email account as secretary of state: She shouldn’t expect this issue to go away in the coming months, and she’d better hurry up and announce her presidential campaign soon.
“The whole situation underscores the need for her to announce her candidacy, as an actual campaign would be the best way to deal with issues like this if they come up,” said Kathy Winter, chairwoman of Iowa’s Osceola County Democrats.
That sentiment echoed in interviews with more than a dozen Democratic activists and operatives, including some in the influential presidential nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. And it wasn’t lost on the former secretary of state’s camp: one Clinton confidante told POLITICO the scrutiny of the past week convinced Clinton to speed up the campaign rollout. The internal discussions about delaying the kickoff until July are ancient history; Clinton’s announcement is now expected within the next two to five weeks.
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“Secretary Clinton had to address the issue and the sooner she did, the sooner this issue will be resolved, or at least take up less of the media’s attention,” said Bret Nilles, chairman of Iowa’s Linn County Democrats, in an email. “I’m thinking that this might accelerate her thinking in declaring her intentions. This seems like the first step on getting her side of the story out to the public directly.”
“When she announces that she’s running, that’s when this will fade away,” added a national Democratic strategist familiar with the emerging campaign structure and plans.
In other words, deflect attention from the State Department email flap by announcing a campaign and putting the issue behind her. This puts the time frame likely the first or second week or April as the new fundraising quarter begins. That means about three weeks from today we could be getting rumblings of a campaign announcement.