Rep. Israel wants Hillary's help for 2014

Now that she’s dipping her toe back into politics after a four-year tenure as secretary of State, Hillary Clinton can expect her phone to be ringing off the hook as Democrats seek her help on the campaign trail

The man in charge of winning the House back for Democrats, Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.), hasn’t called Clinton yet, but he’s itching to.

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“I am giving her the time that she has requested to rest, collect her thoughts, recharge her batteries, and then the second – not the minute – the second that she appears to be ready, I will be calling her and asking her for assistance,” Israel told The Hill in a brief interview Wednesday.

Clinton, this week, made her first political statement since stepping down from the State Department in January, when she released a video through the Human Rights Campaign announcing her support for same-sex marriage. Hewing to tradition, she had steered clear entirely of domestic and campaign politics during her time as secretary of State.

The former New York senator is considered a heavy favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination if she chooses to run. She has said she doesn’t intend to, but that hasn’t stopped Israel and other senior Democrats from publicly encouraging her to change her mind.

“I am close to former President Clinton and former Secretary Clinton, and as a New Yorker I am very hopeful that she’ll be considering running for president,” said Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

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In the meantime, however, Israel is hoping he can enlist Hillary Clinton to join her husband in campaigning for House Democratic candidates ahead of the 2014 election. The DCCC chief has already touted a commitment he’s received from President Obama to help the party with fund-raising and campaign events.

For Hillary Clinton, a busy campaign schedule in the midterm elections would likely be viewed as signaling her interest in a presidential run in 2016, and it could earn her political chits to cash in during a competitive Democratic primary.

“We’ll take all the help we can get,” Israel said.

He called President Clinton “one of our heroes in helping to elect House Democrats in the last cycle.”

“I can’t think of anybody – any national Democrat who spent more time and energy and who was more committed to electing House Democrats than President Clinton, with the exception of Nancy Pelosi,” Israel said. “So I’m hopeful that he’ll make this a family affair.”


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