Hillary Clinton will be in Iowa on Sunday, and the national press is dispensing with the formalities: She is running for president. No if’s, and’s or deeply personal decisions about it.
“Let’s just get this out of the way now: She’s running,” BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith wrote Friday in a preview of sorts for Clinton’s appearance Sunday at Sen. Tom Harkin’s 37th steak fry in Indianola, Iowa.
Amy Chozick of the New York Times wrote a detailed piece on Friday, a thorough reading of the proverbial tea leaves. Some were superficial — Hillary is taking yoga (to prepare for the physical rigors of a campaign) — while others were substantive. She has been asking Wall Street types what they think of President Obama’s fiscal policies and inquiring about the best people to know in Iowa.
“It’s very obvious what’s she going to do,” Sue Dvorsky, a former chairwoman of the Iowa Democratic Party, told Chozick. “Clearly she’s going to run.”
MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell was on the same page.
— Jonathan Allen (@jonallendc) September 13, 2014
That, of course, has been everyone’s operating assumption for the last year or more. And with good reason: TPM has yet to find one person within the Clinton sphere who doesn’t think that Clinton will ultimately decide to run for president.
But, as Republican operatives like America Rising’s Tim Miller have been pleading for them to do for quite a while, the media look like they’re finally done with caveating and couching Clinton’s not-yet-confirmed candidacy. It is simply a fact of the political landscape.
Much like the kickoff of her book tour earlier this summer, this trip to Iowa, the state where her 2008 presidential bid stumbled so badly, is being framed as the official unofficial start to the Hillary 2016 campaign. And now those euphemisms that have littered Clinton coverage so far — the potential’s and presumed’s — are starting to be discarded.
The proto-campaign infrastructure is in place. Ready for Hillary, the grassroots organizers, will be out in full force in Iowa this weekend. Correct The Record is a constant presence in reporter inboxes whenever there is a headline about Hillary. Priorities USA is quietly courting donors, ready to spring into action once the fall midterms come and go, according to the Times’s Chozick.
Now the (expected?) candidate herself — who has set a post-Jan. 1 deadline for making the official announcement that nobody else is waiting for — is visiting the first caucus state. Everything is in its proper place.
And Clinton’s people are, at the least, taking it all with a sense of humor.
“You caught us,” Nick Merrill, her personal spokesman, told Chozick.