The 2016 Iowa caucuses are nearly three years away, but it’s never too early to start the speculation that inevitably occurs around presidential politics in the United States.
The latest speculative bombshell comes by way of the New York Post, which cites an exclusive Feb. 11 story in the Greek Reporter as the basis for its claim that Hillary Clinton will indeed be running for president in 2016.
The Greek Reporter quoted Angelo Tsakopoulos as its source. Tsakopoulos was described a friend of Bill Clinton’s who has been a top donor to the Clintons’ political campaigns and to the Democratic Party. His daughter, Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, is US ambassador to Hungary.
“Hillary will be our next President and she will be a great one,” Tsakopoulos told Greek Reporter earlier this month at a private event in California.
Asked if this had been confirmed by Hillary Clinton or if it was his own personal view, Tsakopoulos answered, “I talk to her husband, and he confirmed it. She will run.”
Hillary Clinton, when asked about her presidential plans at a global town hall earlier this month, answered that she was “not thinking about anything like that right now."
What’s the point in speculating about Hillary Clinton’s presidential ambitions for 2016 at this stage of the game? The answer is simple: People are interested in what her next move will be, and although the campaign won’t officially begin until much later, Hillary has to keep her name out there as a prospective candidate.
Voters have short memories. If Hillary Clinton suddenly disappeared off the proverbial political radar screen, commentators and pundits would begin referring to her in the past tense, seeing her as someone who has completed her time on the national stage rather than someone who is preparing for a second run at the ultimate political prize.
It’s no secret that both Clintons remain enormously popular with American voters. A PPP survey of Iowa Democrats conducted just before the 2012 presidential election found Hillary Clinton dominating the prospective 2016 field, and a poll released on Presidents Day found Bill Clinton to be the all-time favorite president among New Jersey voters. While that popularity does not extend to states like Alabama, Mississippi and Utah, there’s little doubt that Bill Clinton’s overall national popularity will help his wife with swing state voters in the next presidential campaign.
Over the next two years, Hillary Clinton will need to avoid overexposure while simultaneously ensuring that her name is always mentioned when talk turns to presidential prospects for 2016. Expect the occasional comments from Clinton allies like Tsakopoulos over the next couple years as a means of helping Hillary with the balancing act she’ll be doing until she makes her official announcement.
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Sources and resources:
Big donor claims Bill Clinton told him Hillary’s running for prez in 2016, New York Post, Feb. 19, 2013
Additional links embedded in text. Report filed Feb. 19, 2013.
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