Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to make the announcement Sunday that's been anticipated for months. New Yorkers now have a former Senator and former governor potentially in the field.
The former secretary of state and New York senator is about to undertake her second presidential bid, entering the race in a strong position to succeed President Barack Obama as the nominee of the Democratic Party.
Multiple reports say Clinton, who represented the Empire State in the Senate for eight years until early 2009, will announce her campaign Sunday via social media. From there, it's on to Iowa, New Hampshire and other early voting states.
Reflecting the lack of suspense around an announcement that has been considered a fait accompli for months, Schenectady County Democrats have been a few steps ahead of Clinton: they endorsed her for president last week.
Joe Landry is County Democratic Chair. "Hillary has been somebody that has helped us out here in Schenectady County, whether it's basically working on our behalf, maintaining businesses in the community, creating economic opportunities in the community, and I'm speaking when she was our New York State Senator. She was very accessible to us as leaders of Schenectady County, and she has worked to maintain businesses and encourage new businesses coming into our community."
Clinton appears unlikely to face a stiff primary opponent, though a handful of lower-profile Democrats have said they are considering their own campaigns. WAMC's political observer, Dr. Alan Chartock, concedes she has a huge lead going into the race and "it's hers to lose." "We have one major Democrat who looks like he could be formidable, and that is former Governor O'Malley from Maryland. So the chances of that kind of primary, I suspect, are not going to happen. Look, we have the enticing idea that she could be the first woman president of the United States, but you have to go back to Obama vs. Hillary, and you have to say OK, well what happened there?' Well, I suspect it was that people didn't like her that much. They projected into Obama what they wanted, he seemed like a nice guy. You have to like somebody in order to vote for them. And if you look at her announcement, it's going to be... Look, they're not stupid people, they're gonna know that and they're gonna have to package her in such a way so that people will say OK, she's a good person, I like her.' As for the other stuff, Benghazi and all the rest, I just have never thought it caught fire, I think it's all behind us, I think this is just the Republicans and they're working on her because they know that she is the potential Democratic standard-bearer, and they'll do anything to dirty her."
Massachusetts Congressman Richard Neal spoke about his fellow Democrat on WAMC’s Congressional Corner. "You can see already that members of the Obama team, at the hierarchy, not only are they saying good things, but many of them are moving over to the Clinton campaign. My suggestion is, again it's a definition of 'realpolitik,' and that is enhanced legacy for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton is both better served by their alliance going into this election season. And I think if the president wants his legacy protected, obviously he's going to look to Secretary of State Clinton. And not to miss the point, if she wants a bump up in the polls with voters that supported Barack Obama, she's going to continue to say good things about him. So I think there's a mutual interest here that the two of them have in making sure that this path is pretty smooth going forward."
Word is Clinton is taking a smaller, more intimate approach that in her doomed 2008 run: one Democrat tells the Associated Press Clinton will be visiting people's homes, with much of her early campaigning involving encounters with small groups of people. Advisors have urged Clinton to take the time to meet voters one-on-one and build their trust.
The Clinton campaign has rented space in Brooklyn for its headquarters. Since leaving the White House, the Clintons have called Chappaqua in the Hudson Valley home.
On the Republican side, former three-term New York Governor George Pataki has flirted with a run but has yet to officially join the field.