Just when you thought it was safe to go into the water again – Hillary is running. Again. In 2020. She has slowly been re-entering the public spotlight. She has slowly returned to the speaking circuit. She has begun doing the things a future candidate must do. Does it sound crazy? Maybe. But insiders offer a four-point plan for Hillary to run – and win – in 2020. This is that plan.
Step 1 – Let them come to you.
Positioning herself as the prohibitive front-running inevitable juggernaut soaking up dollars like gravy on a biscuit has never worked for Hillary. Her best moments have come when she appeared to be the underdog. Whether it was living through the Monica Lewinsky scandal or her bully-opponent in the New York Senate race, Hillary does best when playing the role of outsider or underdog. So her best first step is to not step first. Wait and let party leaders come to you. Be the reluctant candidate.
Step 2 – Fly casual.
In a crucial scene in Return to the Jedi, Han Solo pilots an imperial transport ship onto the forest moon of Endor. Trying to avoid detection by the enemy, he offers Chewbacca crucial advice: “Fly casual.” This must be Clinton’s mission for the next two years – stay visible without attracting too much attention. Do not look too eager.
Step 3 – Support everyone – and no one.
In her effort, a central goal will be to provide support for Democrats who will be seeking re-election in 2018. She should give a boost to each and every potential presidential candidate, saying nice things about them when prompted, but not showing any favoritism. Let the crowded field remain crowded.
Step 4 – Enter late – and humbly.
Do what George W. Bush did in 2000. Act so casual that you have to be drafted. Hillary has 100 percent name recognition, so there will be no reason to enter the fray early. The one label she cannot wear is “Frontrunner.” The best way to avoid that is to not run at all – until drafted.
Will this work? It’s too early to tell. My best guess is that Hillary will be encouraged to remain on the sideline. But if and when no other candidate emerges, she can become the consensus candidate. Will she be too old in 2020? Well, she will be one year younger than Donald Trump. The betting money says Hillary won’t run in 2020. But then, those were the same pundits who said she would win in 2016.
If 2016 taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. So get ready. We may be looking at Trump-Clinton. Again.