FOX– What looked like a lock when she announced her candidacy four months ago has turned into a scramble for Hillary Clinton as her campaign faces not just challenges from declared candidates but speculation that recent stumbles could draw a party powerhouse like Vice President Biden into the race.
Already, Clinton’s campaign is going up this week with her first television ads in the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. Analysts suggest her team remembers well the lessons of 2008, when the Iowa caucuses saw the supposed front-runner come in third, and lose momentum after that.
But unlike 2008, Clinton’s biggest threat might be someone who hasn’t yet declared. Speculation is mounting that Biden could enter in the fall. And the far left wing of the party appears to be voicing its dissatisfaction with the current front-runner — with some backing Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who continues to draw big crowds, as the alternative and others still clamoring for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run.
Meanwhile, pundits have floated two former nominees from the past two decades, Al Gore and Secretary of State John Kerry, though they’ve shown little interest in running. The New York Times reported that even Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is being courted to run.
“I think there’s a little panic in the Clinton camp,” former GOP New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu said Monday.
A Clinton aide last week disputed the notion the campaign is nervous about Biden, and told Fox News there has not been any shift or new focus on him.
On Thursday, Fox News reported that Clinton aides were growing increasingly nervous about the possibility of a Biden run after the vice president’s White House chief of staff was spotted having breakfast recently with major Democratic donor Louis Susman, a Clinton friend who served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom under Obama.
The New York Times reported Sunday that Biden had discussed entering the race with friends, family, and Democratic donors.
The Times also reported that before Beau Biden died, he tried to convince his father to run. The same Times report said Starbucks’ Schultz is being urged to join the race by powerful friends.
Former Democratic pollster Pat Caddell agreed that Clinton is trying to keep more challengers from jumping in the race.
“Elizabeth Warren is one of them. John Kerry may be another,” he said. As for Biden, he said, “People think he’s trustworthy, as opposed to her.”
While Clinton continues to lead the current primary field handily, recent polls have shown her behind in head-to-head matchups with Republicans. And last week’s Quinnipiac University poll showed that, by 57-37 percent, voters said she wasn’t honest and trustworthy.
Aside from Sanders, other declared Democratic candidates are: former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb; former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley; and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee.
Fox News’ Ed Henry and Kelley Chernenkoff and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
God Bless. Dean James RIGHT WING TRIBUNE