Hillary advisers battle over whether she’ll run in 2020

With the 2018 midterms now nearly decided, the traditional kickoff for the next election cycle — that is, the 2020 presidential election — would normally be getting underway. 

However lacking of a clear leader on the Democratic side, the 2020 election season is off to a slow start, with one exception.

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Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids Hillicon Valley — Presented by AT&T — New momentum for privacy legislation | YouTube purges spam videos | Apple plans B Austin campus | Iranian hackers targeted Treasury officials | FEC to let lawmakers use campaign funds for cyber Comey’s remarks about Trump dossier are not credible, says former FBI official MORE’s former advisers are duking it out over whether America will get to see Hillary 2.0.

Mark Penn, a pollster and senior adviser to Bill and Hillary Clinton from 1995 to 2008, wrote this week in The Wall Street Journal that, “Hillary will run again.” In fact, Penn suggested that America won’t see a 2.0 version, but instead a refurbished “Hillary 4.0” release that is firing on all cylinders.

But Clinton’s former spokesperson, Philippe Reines blasted Penn’s assessment of her chances of running, suggesting that Penn is out of the loop with the Clinton camp and doesn’t know what he’s talking about. 

“I’m certain his insight is no better and no more based on reality than the Koch Brothers or Mr. Snuffleupagus,” said Reines. 

While it’s true that Penn has not worked for the Clintons for a solid decade and while Reines suggests there’s no official Hillary operation underway, Penn’s predictions don’t ring completely hollow. Even Reines admitted recently that Clinton’s chances of running were “somewhere between highly unlikely and zero, but it’s not zero.” 

It certainly appears that Clinton is angling for something, whether it be candidate or kingmaker. 

The former presidential candidate has recently resurfaced, running the gauntlet of media interviews and conferences where she recently said, “I’d like to be president.” She’s reportedly been quietly working on her relationships with the press that she previously (literally) wrangled. She even surfaced at a recent high school football game, perfectly coiffed for taking selfies with unsuspecting fans.

It stands to reason she might be the favored candidate.

With Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenJoaquin Castro says brother Julián is running for president in 2020 Sanders, Warren meet ahead of potential 2020 bids Senate Dems urge Trump to continue nuclear arms control negotiations after treaty suspension MORE (D-Mass.) recently flaming out of contention with her ill-timed DNA pronouncement, it seems unlikely that the former front runner Warren will be running for anything other than her own re-election in 2024.

That leaves a sparse field of experienced Democratic leaders who have the political prowess to step forward to take on the Trump machine which already has a head start in fundraising (an “unprecedented” $100 million so far), campaign management (Brad Parscale) and slogans (Keep America Great, or as the kids say, K-A-G). 

With the clock ticking and mixed midterm election results, Democrats had better figure out who is going to lead them into their next political frontier. 

After all, the average span of a presidential campaign is approximately two years. President TrumpDonald John TrumpProsecutors investigating Trump inaugural fund, pro-Trump super PAC for possible illegal foreign donations: NY Times George Conway: Why take Trump's word over prosecutors' if he 'lies about virtually everything' Federal judge says lawsuit over Trump travel ban waivers will proceed MORE launched his White House bid in June 2015; Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSenate votes to end US support for Saudi war, bucking Trump Senators offer measure naming Saudi crown prince 'responsible' for Khashoggi slaying Meet Maduro, Venezuela's copycat dictator MORE (R-Fla.) launched his in April 2015 and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) launched his in June 2015 — although he had opened up an exploratory committee in December 2014. (Compare this time span to other countries’ election calendars and France could have elected 39 presidents in the time between Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzO’Rourke rockets to second place on CNN analysts' 2020 Dem rankings, Harris remains first Senators prepare for possibility of Christmas in Washington during a shutdown Biden to discuss 2020 bid with family over holidays: report MORE’s (R-Texas) kickoff to the day he endorsed Trump). 

The point is, with the midterm elections now over and the #Resistance still going strong, Americans on the left will soon want to know who will be their official answer to Trump.

Jen Kerns has served as a GOP strategist and writer for the U.S. presidential debates for FOX News. She previously served as communications director and spokeswoman for the California Republican Party, the Colorado Recalls over gun control and the Prop. 8 battle over marriage which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.