The man who ran Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign has told CNN that she will not run again in 2020.
John Podesta, who was Hillary’s campaign chief, told Erin Burnett on Erin Burnett OutFront that she had told him as much and “I take her at her word.”
“She’s not running for president — we’ve got a lot of great candidates out there right now, and I think the Democratic primary is going to be a spirited one with a lot of great ideas coming forward,” Podesta continued.
“I think she would have been a great president but that’s in the past and she said she’s not running.”
Podesta’s comments seem pretty definite and there is no one better placed to know what Hillary is thinking. But his words do contrast with many other rumors swirling around in Democrat circles.
Another CNN report from Jeff Zeleny claims that Hillary has not completely ruled out running again, particularly in light of the Roger Stone indictment and the imminent outcome of the Mueller inquiry.
Speaking on CNN’s Inside Politics show, Zeleny said, “Clinton is telling people that she’s not closing the doors to the idea of running in 2020. I’m told by three people that as recently as this week, she was telling people that look, given all this news from the indictments, particularly the Roger Stone indictment, she talked to several people, saying ‘look, I’m not closing the doors to this.'”
Zeleny was quick to stress that this didn’t exactly mean Hillary was on campaign footing, but merely that another run is not completely out of the question.
“It does not mean that there’s a campaign-in-waiting or a plan in the works. But I think we have to at least leave our mind open to the possibility that she is still talking about it. She wants to take on Trump. Could she win a Democratic primary to do it? I don’t know the answer to that.”
If Hillary does choose to run again, she is likely to be up against a pretty strong field of Democratic candidates. There are also a number of other prominent female candidates likely to throw their hat into the ring.
Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris have already confirmed their intention to seek the Democratic Party nomination.
Hillary will no doubt also be considering the likely consequences of another bruising campaign against Donald Trump. The 2016 election campaign was marked by significant hostility toward her on a personal level from Trump supporters.
Taglines like “lock her up” and “Crooked Hillary” were commonplace and Trump didn’t hold back from seeking to personify her as corrupt Washington elite and even questioning her health.