In the world of presidential politics, 2016 actually isn’t that far away, especially given how much time and effort it takes to mount a serious campaign. Months before the 2012 votes were counted, speculation had started over who might run in four years – fueled by no less a figure than former President Bill Clinton. He has suggested many times that his wife, soon-to-be-ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, might change her mind about not running once she’s had a break. Here are some of the other possible contenders.
(Updated Dec. 11, 2012)
The close runner-up for the Democratic nomination four years ago, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, would enter the 2016 cycle as her party’s instant front-runner. If anything, Secretary Clinton has boosted her stock since 2008, when she buried the hatchet with Barack Obama and took on the tough portfolio at State.
She has earned high marks for her energetic performance. And for 10 straight years, she has topped the Gallup poll as America’s most admired woman. But she says she’s ready to step off the "high wire of American politics" after 20 years as first lady, senator, presidential candidate, and cabinet secretary.
Still, one last chance at breaking the highest, hardest glass ceiling and becoming the first woman president of the United States may be too tempting to pass up – even though she will be in her late 60s in 2016.
Her husband, former President Clinton, is often asked whether she’ll run. His answer is always a version of what he told CBS News in September: “It’s a decision she’ll have to make. But whatever she does, I’m for her first, last, and always.”
But it’s hard not to look at Mr. Clinton, who campaigned with gusto for President Obama’s reelection, and not see someone who is aching to see his wife try again.
“Every indication is that he would really want her to run,” a friend of Mr. Clinton’s told Jodi Kantor of The New York Times recently.
Most rank-and-file Democrats are on the same page. Some 61 percent of Democratic primary voters want Mrs. Clinton as their party’s nominee next time, according to a Public Policy Polling survey released in early December. Vice President Joe Biden came in second with 14 percent, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo came in third with 5 percent.
1 of 8