Wall Street Journal: “Mrs. Clinton is giving hints of the themes and agenda that would animate her campaign if she were to run for president, offering the barest sketch of what could evolve into her basic stump speech. Yet, the ideas are, in a sense, frozen in time. Mrs. Clinton has offered the same thoughts—in virtually identical language—at earlier stages of her political career.”
New York Times: “At political fund-raisers and party conferences, over intimate dinners and in casual telephone calls, top contenders for the Republican presidential nomination are constructing an image of Mrs. Clinton that is relentlessly unappealing: as rusty and unloved, out of step and out of date, damaged and vulnerable.”
“To win the party’s nomination in a contest over which Mrs. Clinton looms so large, likely candidates are now jockeying to appeal to several overlapping constituencies, including Republican activists who loathe her, donors who respect and fear her fund-raising prowess and party leaders who view her candidacy as a test of their attempts to modernize the Republican brand.”
Hillary Clinton “is considering the nitty-gritty details of how and when to organize a presidential campaign amid signs that she will postpone making her shadow campaign official until later in 2015 than expected,” the Washington Post reports.
“Clinton and her small circle of close advisers are weighing legal advice to set up a strict firewall between her and the numerous outside groups backing her presumed 2016 candidacy… The quarantine would run for a set period of time before she would announce her candidacy, as a way to make sure that the campaign and outside groups do not run afoul of federal election rules.”
“But rather than announce in January — as she did in 2007 — Clinton allies are increasingly working under the assumption that an official announcement will not come until spring.”
BuzzFeed: “A veteran field organizer who is considered to be a contender for a senior position on Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential campaign is leaving his job at the White House, according to three people familiar with the departure. Marlon Marshall, 35, worked for Clinton during the 2008 primary election as the field director in three key states. There, he served as a right-hand to Robby Mook, the operative many name as their top pick to manage another Clinton campaign.”
“The State Department has failed to turn over government documents covering Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state that the Associated Press and others requested under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act ahead of her presumptive presidential campaign. They include one request AP made four years ago and others pending for more than one year.”
A CNBC Millionaire Survey of people with investable assets of $1 million or more –which represents the top 8% of American households — finds that Hillary Clinton is their top choice for president with 31%, followed by Jeb Bush (R) at 18%.
Hillary Clinton “has added a paid speech to her calendar in mid-March, complicating the time-frame for when she might announce a potential second run for the presidency,” MSNBC reports.
“The timing of Clinton’s potential 2016 presidential run remains very much up in the air. The first time Clinton ran for president, she announced her candidacy on January 20, 2007. Many Clinton allies and observers had expected a similar announcement date, but the addition of paid speeches deeper into 2015 complicates the matter.”
“Clinton could run and continue to collect money for speeches, but her speaking fees – which range up to $300,000 – have been controversial and would likely be a political headache. She could also cancel the appearances after an announcement. But the fact that she’s adding new bookings shows that Clinton has not fully made up her mind on timing, or even if she’ll run, Clinton allies say.”
A new Bloomberg poll finds Hillary Clinton “would enter the presidential race with positive views of her past experience and personal traits, making her a formidable contender against lesser-known Republican rivals.”
“Greater numbers of Americans view her as a strong leader, who has a better vision for the future, shares their values, and empathizes with their concerns… Among the Republicans tested against her, former Republican nominee Mitt Romney has the best name recognition and strengths to challenge her standing as this early stage in the 2016 race. Romney, however, has repeatedly said he won’t campaign for the presidency for a third time.”
What Hillary Clinton often “leaves out about her time as first lady is her messy, sometimes explosive and often politically clumsy dealings with congressional Republicans and White House aides. Now, the release of roughly 6,000 pages of extraordinarily candid interviews with more than 60 veterans of the Clinton administration paints a more nuanced portrait of a first lady who was at once formidable and not always politically deft,” the New York Times reports.
“Her triumphs and setbacks are laid bare in the oral histories of Mr. Clinton’s presidency, released last month by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. The center has conducted oral histories of every presidency going back to Jimmy Carter’s, interviewing key players and then sealing them for years to come. But more than any other, this set of interviews bears on the future as much as the past.”
Hillary Clinton “has distanced herself from the Obama administration’s increasingly unpopular handling of international issues, including Syria and Russia,” the Wall Street Journal reports.
But she is “much more closely tied to current U.S. diplomatic efforts toward Iran aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program. Mrs. Clinton has taken credit for initiating secret talks with Iran in 2012 that formed the foundation for negotiations that were recently extended another seven months. In addition, one of her closest foreign-policy advisers at the State Department, Jake Sullivan, remains one of the Obama administration’s top negotiators with the Iranian diplomats.”
Hillary Clinton offered some interesting insight into her thinking about what it’s like being president, Politico reports.
Said Clinton: “I spent an hour with the president yesterday, going over a lot of different issues. And I was thinking, sitting there in the Oval Office talking, that I’ve known a lot of presidents over the course of the last many decades … And it is such a hard job … It is such a challenging job. And you need people, starting in your family — but going to your friends, beyond a larger circle — who will really be there for you and continue to treat you like a human being.”
She continued: “Because you can easily lose touch with what’s real, what’s authentic, who you were before you were sworn in to office … Whether it’s a man or a woman, the support system is absolutely critical. It used to be, in years past, presidents like the Roosevelts, or Harry Truman … they would go away, they would go to their ranch or their home or, in Harry Truman’s case, he’d get on the presidential yacht and he’d sail down to Key West. … They wanted to breathe, they wanted to think.”
Warren Buffett “gave the maximum donation allowed to Ready for Hillary last quarter, his first-ever check to the sort of independent political groups that he’s scorned in the past,” Bloomberg reports.
“Buffett, who is the third richest man in the world, gave $25,000, the most any individual can donate under the committee’s self-imposed cap, according to a person familiar with Ready for Hillary’s post-election financial disclosure report. The group has raised more than $11 million to finance its efforts to lay the groundwork for a Clinton presidential campaign. Their latest report is due to be filed with the Federal Election Commission by midnight Thursday.”
“Hillary Clinton allies are focusing on four potential Republican challengers for the White House: Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Chris Christie and Scott Walker,” The Hill reports.
“Clinton World believes Paul has run the best “pre-campaign” of the group. And the fact that the Republican senator from Kentucky has worked to attract Republicans and Democrats to his cause has made him someone to watch. Yet, time and again, Bush is the top name to roll off everyone’s tongue.”
“With weeks to go until she makes an announcement about her future, Hillary Clinton has started meeting with a broad range of political figures — including potential campaign managers,” Politico reports.
“Clinton, who several people close to her describe as still not firmly decided on a campaign, met Wednesday with outgoing Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee executive director Guy Cecil, one of the two people most often described as a potential campaign manager for her 2016 campaign… Clinton has also spoken with Robby Mook, another-often mentioned potential campaign manager, about 2016, people familiar with the discussions said, but the details were unclear.”
“She’s not going to announce her 2016 plans for at least another six weeks — possibly longer,” Politico reports.
“So the question for Hillary Clinton has become how to fill the space between the midterms, when she made dozens of appearances on behalf of embattled Democrats, and the launch of her own presidential campaign, should she decide to run. Clinton’s camp clearly hopes to delay the window in which she is treated like a candidate. But with a sprawling shadow campaign effort in effect for more than 18 months, Clinton will be viewed through a political lens regardless.”
Allies of Hillary Clinton “are increasingly worried about the threat posed by a motley field of Democratic presidential hopefuls who could complicate, or even derail, a Clinton candidacy in 2016 by focusing attention on her weaknesses,” the Washington Post reports.
“All of the possible challengers are long shots against Clinton and would face a steep climb against the well-known former secretary of state. Many Clinton supporters also say competition would help her by honing her campaigning skills and discouraging the sense of entitlement that damaged her White House bid in 2008.”
“But each of the emerging challengers also appeals to a constituency within the Democratic Party that Clinton has struggled with in the past. And unlike Clinton — who has yet to formulate a clear message for a potential campaign — each has distinct issues to build a campaign around.”
Hillary Clinton will be giving another paid speech in Canada in late January, according to The Carillon.
It’s widely expected that Clinton would not give paid speeches after she announced a presidential bid.
[speech_bubble type=”std” subtype=”a” icon=”pwdome.jpg” name=””]This would seem to contradict speculation that Clinton was scheduling an announcement for just after the New Year. [/speech_bubble]
Charlie Cook emails Political Wire to say he never predicted that Hillary Clinton is unlikely to run for president as one report over the weekend claimed.
Said Cook: “I have never said that the odds of her running were less than 60%. Clearly this person misheard me.”
MSNBC notes Cook has written at least two previous columns pegging Clinton’s chances of running at 70%.
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