Hillary Clinton insists she's still months away from deciding whether or not to run for president. But recent reports by Politico and Time magazine suggest the former secretary of state and first lady may be inching closer to a decision on 2016.
On Sunday, Politico published a report ("Hillary Clinton's shadow campaign") that described a meeting between Clinton and political consultants at her home early last summer for "a detailed presentation on preparing for a 2016 presidential campaign":
Three officials from the Democratic consulting firm Dewey Square Group — veteran field organizer Michael Whouley, firm founder Charlie Baker and strategist Jill Alper, whose expertise includes voter attitudes toward women candidates — delivered a dispassionate, numbers-driven assessment. They broke down filing deadlines in certain states, projected how much money Clinton would need to raise and described how field operations have become more sophisticated in the era of Barack Obama.
The meeting was organized by Minyon Moore, a longtime Clinton intimate also at Dewey Square who has informally become the potential candidate’s political eyes and ears of late. Clinton listened closely but said little and made no commitments, according to people familiar with the nearly hourlong gathering. It appears to have been the only formal 2016-related presentation Clinton has been given from anyone outside her immediate circle.
Nonetheless, "more than two dozen people in her orbit" told Politico that there is a "a virtual campaign in waiting" — one that includes both "Clinton loyalists" and former Obama campaign operatives.
Fueling further speculation was a report by Time magazine that Ready for Hillary, the super PAC encouraging her to make a second run at the White House, is renting the email list from her first. "Ready for Hillary rented the hillaryclinton.com email list to connect with her past supporters,” Seth Bringman, a spokesman for the super PAC, told the magazine.
As Time's Zeke Miller noted, it's not uncommon for past campaigns to rent out their email lists to other candidates — Barack Obama's campaign, for instance, rented out Clinton's 2008 list.
But it's an indication of how seriously she's considering a 2016 run. On Sunday, Time reports, the Ready for Hillary super PAC emailed the Clinton list offering free "I'm Ready for Hillary" bumper stickers. The return address: email@example.com.
That was apparently enough for Matt Drudge to declare that Hillary had made "her move." On Sunday, he tweeted a photo of the bumper sticker to his 240,000-plus followers.
Hillary makes the big move, two years to the day of Iowa 2016... Her biggest roadblock: HER HEALTH... pic.twitter.com/KJExVXRlkU— MATT DRUDGE (@DRUDGE) January 5, 2014
The Drudge Report ran a copy of the email, signed by Gen. Wesley Clark, with a less definitive headline: "SHE MAKES IT OFFICIAL?"