Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CD6: Does Bill Clinton's John Delaney Endorsement Signal a 2016 White House Bid from Hillary Clinton? // ONE TAKE

Today, Howard Fineman at The Huffington Post had a worthwhile piece speculating that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is keeping the door open for a possible 2016 run for the White House. He analyzed Bill Clinton's recent endorsements in contested primaries and concluded that his choices are very deliberate.

The Huffington Post article also discusses Bill Clinton's critical endorsement of John Delaney in Maryland's 6th Congressional District Democratic Primary. Fineman even includes comments from John Delaney's wife April. Notably, he places the Delaney endorsement in the context of a future run for President from Hillary Clinton (see excerpt below):

HUFFINGTON POST: Bill Clinton prefers to help Democrats such as Kathleen Kane, a lawyer who won the party's nomination for attorney general of Pennsylvania on Tuesday night. In 2008, Kane, who hails from a prominent political family, raised money for Hillary and was her northeast Pennsylvania coordinator. The former president not only endorsed Kane in this election; he also offered to speak at a rally in the Philadelphia suburbs earlier this month....

As it happens, Kane's losing primary foe was former Rep. Patrick Murphy, an early Obama backer who was endorsed by the current president's media guru, David Axelrod.

The Clintons had another notable victory in Pennsylvania this week.... Rep. Jason Altmire had flirted at length with endorsing Hillary in 2008 ... but in the end stayed neutral. Rep. Mark Critz's predecessor, an old bull named John Murtha, had endorsed Hillary.

That history was apparently enough for Bill. He endorsed Critz, who won on Tuesday....

"What's next?" is not an idle question. While Bill rewards Hillary's 2008 friends and cultivates a new generation of allies, she wins solid marks as secretary of state, rides a wave of cult status on the web and watches as the Beltway chattering classes wonder aloud whether she will be a candidate for president in 2016....

But none of her friends -- on or off the record -- rule out the possibility that she would run for president. "Depending on the lay of the land in a few years, I think she'll do it," said one....

Her husband says he doubts she will run, but he is tending the fields nevertheless, prospecting for foundation supporters and paying off old political debts, with a shrewd eye toward renewing the franchise just in case. In the wealthy (and donor-rich) Maryland suburbs of Washington, for example, the former president endorsed a political novice, millionaire banker John Delaney, for the district's Democratic congressional nomination. Yes, Delaney and his wife, April, were major Hillary bundlers in 2008.

The state's Democratic establishment, including U.S. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, backed Delaney's foe. With TV spots and robo calls from Bill -- and $1.7 million of his own money -- Delaney won.
"We were huge Hillary supporters," said April. Presumably they would be again, if the occasion arises.

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