Hillary Clinton’s road to the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 is wide open, with few challengers looking capable of erecting big barriers in her way.
That’s welcome news to some in Hillaryland. But other allies worry that the perception of another inevitable candidacy might hurt her. Memories are still sharp of how clear a favorite she looked in 2008, before the man who is now president snatched it all away.
“She needs someone to challenge her,” said one Democratic strategist with close ties to the former Secretary of State’s inner circle. “You don't want any kind of perception that you are the inevitable candidate. And without that, it will bleed into the general [election] and that's just not helpful. It’s good for her to face some friendly fire.”
“Having an opponent or two in the primary doesn’t hurt her, it helps her,” added one former senior aide to Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. “It reminds people that she’s going to have to work at this.
“She wears inevitability very badly,” the former aide continued.