A longtime Hillary Clinton adviser is hinting that the former secretary of state may have one more presidential run brewing -- a statement greeted with glee from the White House.
“It’s somewhere between highly unlikely and zero,” Philippe Reines told Politico about the possibility that Clinton runs again in 2020, “but it’s not zero.”
Clinton, who ran unsuccessfully against President Trump in 2016, has remained in the spotlight since her defeat with a book release and speaking tours in which she has waxed lyrical about the Trump presidency and state of American politics. This month it was announced that Clinton, along with former President Bill Clinton, will embark on a speaking tour in which they will share anecdotes from their time in politics.
But as Democrats begin to consider who may be their pick to turn Trump into a one-term president, Reines appeared to be making the case for Clinton.
“It’s curious why Hillary Clinton’s name isn’t in the mix -- either conversationally or in formal polling—as a 2020 candidate,” Reines said. “She’s younger than Donald Trump by a year. She’s younger than Joe Biden by four years. Is it that she’s run before? This would be [Vermont Sen.] Bernie Sanders’ second time, and [former Vice President Joe] Biden’s third time. Is it lack of support? She had 65 million people vote for her.”
“Chalking the loss up to her being a failed candidate is an oversimplification,” Reines added. “She is smarter than most, tougher than most, she could raise money easier than most, and it was an absolute fight to the death.”
The fact that those close to Clinton are even discussing the possibility of a 2020 run (although Clinton herself has said she will not run again) was met with cheers from conservatives -- who believe that a Trump vs. Clinton 2020 race will result in another win for Trump.
“Hillary 2020 -- One Last Run?” asked The Drudge Report.
“Christmas coming early this year?” tweeted White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
Liberals were less keen on the prospect. Reines’ interview came in a piece for Politico which asked: “How Do You Solve a Problem like Hillary?” which added: “She’s not going away -- and Democrats aren’t sure what to do about it.”
The comments by Reines come after a few high-profile statements from Clinton, some of which have arguably not been helpful for Democrats. She got into hot water for saying “civility can start again” only when the Democrats win the House and Senate. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., called her comments “ridiculous.”
She also sparked controversy with her comments on former President Clinton’s affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky, saying that it was not an abuse of power and that there was no need for him to resign over it.
Michelle Cottle, a member of The New York Times’ editorial board, wrote an op-ed for the Times on Tuesday, saying that when Democrats need to be focused on their message to voters for the midterms, Clinton’s comments are distracting.
“This is the sort of moral arrogance and self-justification that has long troubled even many Democrats about Mrs. Clinton,” she wrote, adding that Clinton’s involvement could also help fire up the Republican base ahead of November.
Conservative strategist Chris Barron told Fox News that the Times criticism speaks volumes about how "politically radioactive” she is.
“The bad news for the Times and for Democrats everywhere is that Hillary doesn’t care. She never has. She will always do what she thinks is in her best interest - even at the expense of her party and her political allies,” Barron said. “That’s just how the Clintons operate.”
Polling supports some Democratic nervousness on this matter. A Gallup poll in September found that Clinton’s favorability was at a record low of just 36 percent.
Fox News' Brian Flood contributed to this report.