Hillary Clinton Sending Up Trial Balloons for Jumping In

Can the 2020 Dem field get any crazier? Sure, why not.

Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bloomberg have both told people privately in recent weeks that if they thought they could win, they would consider entering the primary — but that they were skeptical there would be an opening, according to Democrats who have spoken with them…

The chances that another major contender decides to run are remote: While Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Bloomberg have both been encouraged to enter the race, Democrats close to them believe the only scenario under which they’d consider running is if Mr. Biden drops out or is badly weakened…

Democrats who have recently spoken with Mrs. Clinton say she shares the same concerns other party elites have about the field — worried about Mr. Biden’s durability, Ms. Warren’s liberal politics and unsure of who else can emerge to take on Mr. Trump. But these people, who spoke anonymously to discuss private conversations, say she enjoys the freedom that comes with not being on the ballot.

Bloomberg and Clinton aren't just saying things that happen to end up in the New York Times. They're planted to appear there.

Michael Bloomberg is probably sincere. He's wavering about running in the past. And he's waiting to see if his trial balloon generates any interest. It won't. But he could probably kneecap a Warren candidacy. And that's something he's communicating.

As, in her own way, is Hillary.

There's little doubt that she would love to run, but having a shot at this late stage would require some extraordinary dealmaking, and nobody among the Dems really wants her back for another round. But, if nothing else, this also allows her to remind Warren that she's around, and a potential complication, and to negotiate to embed some of her people in the Warren campaign.

Warren is already trying to pivot to a slightly more moderate image. The Cherokee corporate lawyer has gone through many transformations before. And a more moderate Warren will offer Hillary less of a potential vulnerability.

 

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