We’re just three months out from the Iowa caucuses, so you’d think the double-digit Democratic presidential candidate field would be set at this point, give or take the next round of candidates to drop out, right?
It may not be.
Over the last several weeks, surrogates for Hillary Clinton — some on the record and some not — have told national media outlets like The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Fox News that Clinton hasn’t shut the door on a possible third presidential candidacy.
The New York Times reported that sources close to Clinton said she “told people privately in recent weeks that if [she] thought [she] could win, [she] would consider entering the primary” but that she was “skeptical there would be an opening.”
According to The Washington Post, one anonymous source who has spoken to Clinton stated, “Ultimately, it’s unlikely she would do it. But put it this way: It ain’t zero. And does she think about it all the time? Absolutely.”
Philippe Reines, an adviser to Clinton, went on the record on Fox News last week and confirmed she “has not” ruled out running a third time.
“There might be a reason that she’d be the best person, not only to beat Donald Trump, but to govern after Donald Trump,” Reines told Tucker Carlson.
President Trump himself has tweaked his 2016 foe Clinton twice this month, saying she should jump back in the race on the condition she “explain all of her high crimes and misdemeanors.”
“Don’t tempt me. Do your job,” Clinton responded, which only amped up speculation as to her future political plans.
Almost since the moment she lost to Trump, Clinton has asserted, without evidence, she was robbed of the presidency, that Trump colluded with the Russians to defeat her. The national media have largely been uncritical of her claims for two reasons: They agree with her and they, too, despise Trump.
Clinton has also said she believes 2016 Green Party nominee Jill Stein was a “Russian asset,” and that had she not been on the ballot in certain key states as a third-party candidate, Clinton would have won the election (exit polls proved the claim untrue, but don’t tell Clinton that).
As to the woman herself, what has Clinton said in response to the rumors she wants to run again?
“Maybe there does need to be a rematch. I mean, obviously I can beat him again,” she quipped to PBS the first week in October.
Beyond that, she’s said nothing about the frenzied speculation.
If Clinton wanted to put an end to the endless “will she or won’t she” talk, she would have done so by now. That she hasn’t even after Reines’ on the record remarks will only give further rise to the talk and rumors that the revenge-minded failed 2016 presidential nominee seeks to avenge her loss, even if it means stepping on the toes of the other candidates, some who have been in the race for nearly a year.
I make no predictions on whether or not Clinton could defeat Trump in 2020, but one thing is undoubtedly true: The entertainment and high drama values of the primary and general election seasons would increase exponentially.
As to whether or not that would be a good thing, well, I’ll leave that to readers to decide.
Stacey Matthews is a veteran blogger who has also written under the pseudonym Sister Toldjah and is a regular contributor to Red State and Legal Insurrection.