Hillary Clinton’s Aides Hint at Ditching Old Baggage for 2016 Run
(NEW YORK) — Hillary Clinton’s first major print interview since leaving the Obama administration seven months ago leaves two impressions: She is running in 2016, and this campaign won’t look anything like her failed 2008 run.
The former secretary of state’s official line in her interview with New York magazine was that she’s happily enjoying her unofficial life, even as she casually mulls the prospect of a presidential run.
“I’m not in any hurry,” she told the magazine. “I think it’s a serious decision, not to be made lightly, but it’s also not one that has to be made soon.”
At the same time, however, her aides suggest in the article, “Hillary in Midair,” that a 2016 presidential run is going to feature a more organized, less stodgy Clinton than the candidate who came just shy of the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008.
Clinton, they say, has learned from her mistakes, and will bring a sense of discipline to a presidential run that her 2008 campaign lacked.
The former first lady and New York senator insists that she’s in no hurry to make a decision, although Clinton acknowledges that she’s seriously mulling a run.
But according to a few trusty unnamed friends quoted in the article published Sunday, a 2016 presidential run is a done deal.
“She’s running, but she doesn’t know it yet,” said one Clinton-world source who declined to be named in the magazine’s cover story.
“She’s going to run for president; it’s a foregone conclusion,” another added.
Clinton’s post-State Department life features lots of quality time with her husband, former President Bill Cliton, she says.
“We get to be at home together a lot more now than we used to in the last few years,” Hillary, 65, told the magazine. “We have a great time; we laugh at our dogs; we watch stupid movies; we take long walks; we go for a swim.”
But a few lines later, another aide emphasized the former president’s relative absence in Hillary’s professional life during her time at the State Department. A time that they view as a model of her management style.
“I could probably count on one hand the times she came to a meeting and either invoked his name or suggested something that Bill had said,” Tom Nides, Hillary’s hire at the State Department to be deputy secretary of state for management and resources, told the magazine. “I probably did it more about my wife telling me what to do.”
All that harks back to combating the persistent complaints that Bill’s influence helped tank Hillary’s 2008 operation.
And for others, the complaints go back even further to Bill’s entire presidency, which many liberals see as a golden age of moderate Democratic politics, but also a series of close calls and scandals that probably could have been avoided.
It’s a problem for Hillary that New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd warned in a recent column might not go away.
“The closer [Clinton] gets to running the world once more, the more you are reminded of all the things that bugged you the last time around,” Dowd wrote in August.
As her aides tell it, Hillary is the organized one, determined to learn from the mistakes of her past. And Bill might be the mastermind politician, but his “loosey-goosey” ways won’t influence her 2016 campaign.
“She doesn’t operate that way,” a former State Department advisor told New York magazine. “I mean, she has all sorts of creative ideas, but that’s not how she operates. She is much more systematic.”
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