In Brief

Is Hillary Clinton planning a comeback?

It’s clear that at 74, Clinton is still fired up, ‘ambitious’ and keen to wield influence

Could Hillary Clinton have another crack at the White House in 2024? That would once have seemed unthinkable, said Douglas Schoen and Andrew Stein in The Wall Street Journal, but it doesn’t look so crazy given the current state of play in Washington.

President Biden’s low approval ratings, Vice-President Kamala Harris’s unpopularity and the absence of other strong Democrats has created an opening for a candidate of Clinton’s stature. And it’s clear that at 74, she’s still fired up, “ambitious” and keen to wield influence.

In recent interviews, she has been warning her party that it faces disaster in November’s midterm elections unless it rejects far-left positions. Her husband, Bill, has been singing her praises. Talking to People magazine, he described her as “the most qualified person to run for office in my lifetime, including me”, adding that not electing her in 2016 was “one of the most profound mistakes we ever made”.

The circumstances are certainly ripe for a Clinton comeback, said Monica Crowley in The New York Post. Few now expect Biden, who is clearly flagging, to seek re-election. That opens the door to “a free-for-all primary contest” in which the experienced Clinton would outgun any candidate apart from Michelle Obama, were she to stand.

There’s no doubt Clinton has an impressive CV, said Chris Cillizza on CNN. But guess what? That was also true when she stood for president in 2016 and 2008. Much good it did her.

I don’t see a Clinton run happening, said Darragh Roche in Newsweek. For one thing, she pretty much ruled it out in 2017 after she lost to Donald Trump. “As an active politician, it’s over,” she told CBS. “I’m done with being a candidate.”

The polling data and betting odds also suggest that she “would face a considerable uphill struggle” if she did enter the race. In a December poll, just 6% of respondents put Clinton as their first choice as Democratic party nominee in 2024, compared to 40% for Biden, 10% for Harris and 18% for Senator Bernie Sanders. Betfair gives her odds of 50-1 on winning the election – the same odds it gives rapper Kanye West.

Let’s face it, said Charles C. W. Cooke in National Review. Clinton has been a prominent figure for 30 years, and it’s evident that winning elections is not her forte. If she’s their best hope for 2024, “the Democratic party is in more trouble than we thought”.

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