It was a rather innocuous throwaway line, but it was enough to make some ears perk up and further fuel speculation about the prospect of “Hillary 2020.”
At an event at Georgetown University Law School on Wednesday, former President Bill Clinton — sitting next to former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and progressive icon Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — uttered the phrase “she may or may not run …”
“She may or may not run for anything, but I’m never running for president again,” said the would-be First Gentleman, as reported by RealClearPolitics.
“She may or not ever run for anything, but I can’t legally run for President again.” – Bill Clinton leaving the door open on @HillaryClinton running for President in 2020. #StillWithHer #Hillary2020 pic.twitter.com/gDrmcR0ax1
— Joel McAuliffe (@JdMcAuliffe) October 31, 2019
The comment follows a series of equivocal statements by Hillary and her camp suggesting that she is seriously considering a third presidential run. One of the more recent statements about yet another Clinton presidential campaign that turned heads came from longtime Clinton advisor Philippe Reines during an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson two weeks ago.
“So, I’m assuming what I just said and what we’re hearing is true, that if she thought she was the best position to beat Donald Trump, she would get in the race,” said Carlson, as reported by The Daily Wire.
“You know, she ran for president because she thought she would be the best president,” said Reines. “If she still thought that now, if she thought she had the best odds of beating Donald Trump — I think she would think about it long and hard.”
“She’s not — she hasn’t foreclosed the possibility, I guess,” Carlson replied.
“No, she has not,” said Reines.
“She really likes a lot of the people running. She knows them well. She thought about some of them for her vice presidency,” Reines said later. “But there might be a reason that she’d be the best person, not only to beat Donald Trump, but to govern after Donald Trump, which is a part we don’t talk about much. And, look, you can make fun of her all you want, but 65 million people voted for her and that’s second more to anyone except Barack Obama.”
A recent report by The New York Times likewise has helped stoke speculation that Clinton may end up jumping in the race. “Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bloomberg have both told people privately in recent weeks that if they thought they could win, they would consider entering the primary — but that they were skeptical there would be an opening, according to Democrats who have spoken with them,” The Times reported two weeks ago.
“Democrats who have recently spoken with Mrs. Clinton say she shares the same concerns other party elites have about the field — worried about Mr. Biden’s durability, Ms. Warren’s liberal politics and unsure of who else can emerge to take on Mr. Trump,” the Times reported.
The Washington Post reported similar comments from Clinton insiders. “Hillary Clinton, according to two people close to her, has not ruled out jumping in herself, a sign that she is hearing similar dissatisfaction,” the Post reported.