Bill Clinton confirmed Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2016, according to Angelo Tsakopoulos, a "real-estate honcho" who's a major donor to Clinton campaigns, the New York Post reports. No kidding?
It is time to stop pretending to be surprised at reports that Clinton is running for president. "Hillary will be our next president and she will be a great one," Tsakopoulos said last weekend at a private California banquet, the Greek Reporter says. "I talked to her husband, and he confirmed it. She will run.” He even had campaign staffing specifics, saying his daughter, Eleni Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis, will be a Clinton aide during the campaign. In 2010, Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis was sworn in by Hillary Clinton as ambassador to Hungary.
Clinton's political ambitions have long been clear. (She ran for Senate even before her husband left the White House!) In January, Clinton's husband and daughter co-bylined a mass email asking readers to "thank Hillary for making our country and our world, stronger, safer and better." President Obama and Clinton went on 60 Minutes and he said basically the same thing, but the subtext was clear for other Democrats considering a 2016 run: Obama's endorsement is pledged to Clinton.
There are plenty of signs that Clinton is making moves to build a post-State political operation. Thousands of liberal voters got emails from groups asking them to thank the former Secretary of State, Politico's Alexander Burns and Maggie Haberman reported. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out an email saying 170,000 had already thanked her by January 25. These emails help build a list of supporters, as "Ideally, recipients forward the messages to their friends and family, and more email addresses pile up," Politico reported.
Then HillaryClintonOffice.com was launched the Monday after her last day of work at the State Department. "Just days after becoming a private citizen, Hillary Clinton is stoking speculation about running for President in 2016 by launching a mysterious new website that boldly features her in an attention-grabbing photo," the New York Daily News said. It may be she just needs to give her staffers new email addresses. Her old campaign site, plain old HillaryClinton.com, is still in operation, still "Paid for by Friends of Hillary," her campaign committee which has never fully shut down.
But let's tally it all up: She's building a list, a website, a theoretical campaign staff (or, at least, courting donors). It's time to stop speculating. No more "will she or won't she?" She is.
Update: More on the weird kabuki in pretending Clinton isn't running -- including a clarification from Tsakopoulos.