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NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: Former US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks onstage during The Child Mind Institute Summit: The State of Child & Adolescent Mental Health at The Paley Center for Media on November 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Child Mind Institute )
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An internal debate among Hillary Clinton supporters about the timing of when she should launch her expected campaign for the presidency has erupted once again.
Several Democrats have told CNN that there is a desire on the part of Clinton and her innermost circle to go as late as possible. But the potential for a summer start to the official Clinton 2016 campaign, first reported this morning by Politico, is only one of the options on the table. The spring launch plan is still seen by most Clinton watchers as the most likely timing scenario. Under the spring scenario, Clinton could form an exploratory committee or other official vehicle, which has FEC-regulated restrictions for potential candidates, but would enable Clinton to publicly indicate her intentions and begin a new phase of the process without formally launching a full blown campaign until later in 2015.
There is some concern among Clinton loyalists that as the increasingly crowded Republican race heats up, the attacks on Clinton could begin to stick without an apparatus in place to answer them.
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee who is pondering another run, invoked Clinton numerous times during recent speeches.
The liberal superPAC American Bridge has been countering Republican attacks on Clinton’s behalf but the cover has not necessarily been to the satisfaction of all in Clinton’s orbit. The Democratic National Committee is beginning to take on a larger role in an effort to protect Clinton and the party brand but many Democrats are concerned even that won’t be enough. Some Democrats have also expressed concern that a later start to Clinton’s campaign will appear like the nomination is shaping up to be more of a coronation and a race - something Clinton and her advisers are looking to avoid.
However, those pushing for a later start argue that the more Hillary Clinton can stay out of the daily to and fro of presidential politics, the better that is for Hillary Clinton. No top Democrats have made serious moves to challenging Clinton’s informal and all but certain campaign. In addition, with the uptick of Obama’s approval ratings and easing of economic pessimism among the voters, some supporters of a later start argue that Clinton might want to continue to benefit from those environmental conditions before jumping into the daily presidential campaign mix.
Last fall an internal debate emerged about whether a campaign should form in January or February of 2015 or if it would be better to wait for Spring. Those arguing for a Spring start won that debate at the time, but it clearly did not stand as the final word on the matter.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has said his decision to run for the Republican nomination will be based on two things: his family and whether he can lift America's spirit. His father and brother are former Presidents.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has created a political committee that will help him travel and raise money while he considers a 2016 bid. Additionally, billionaire businessman David Koch said in a private gathering in Manhattan this month that he wants Walker to be the next president, but he doesn't plan to back anyone in the primaries.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is establishing a committee to formally explore a White House bid. "If I run, my candidacy will be based on the idea that the American people are ready to try a dramatically different direction," he said in a news release provided to CNN on Monday, May 18.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who caucuses with Democrats, has said the United States needs a "political revolution" of working-class Americans looking to take back control of the government from billionaires. He first announced the run in an email to supporters early on the morning of Thursday, April 30.
On March 2, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced the launch of an exploratory committee. The move will allow him to raise money that could eventually be transferred to an official presidential campaign and indicates he is on track with stated plans to formally announce a bid in May.
Hillary Clinton launched her presidential bid Sunday, April 12, through a video message on social media. She continues to be considered the overwhelming front-runner among possible 2016 Democratic presidential candidates.
Sen. Marco Rubio announced his bid for the 2016 presidency on Monday, April 13, a day after Hillary Clinton, with a rally in Florida. He's a Republican rising star from Florida who swept into office in 2010 on the back of tea party fervor. But his support of comprehensive immigration reform, which passed the Senate but has stalled in the House, has led some in his party to sour on his prospects.
Lincoln Chafee, a Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat former governor and senator of Rhode Island, said he's running for president on Thursday, April 16, as a Democrat, but his spokeswoman said the campaign is still in the presidential exploratory committee stages.
Vice President Joe Biden has twice before made unsuccessful bids for the Oval Office -- in 1988 and 2008. A former senator known for his foreign policy and national security expertise, Biden made the rounds on the morning shows recently and said he thinks he'd "make a good President."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has started a series of town halls in New Hampshire to test the presidential waters, becoming more comfortable talking about national issues and staking out positions on hot topic debates.
Sen. Rand Paul officially announced his presidential bid on Tuesday, April 7, at a rally in Louisville, Kentucky. The tea party favorite probably will have to address previous controversies that include comments on civil rights, a plagiarism allegation and his assertion that the top NSA official lied to Congress about surveillance.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz announced his 2016 presidential bid on Monday, March 23, in a speech at Liberty University. The first-term Republican and tea party darling is considered a gifted orator and smart politician. He is best known in the Senate for his marathon filibuster over defunding Obamacare.
Democrat Martin O'Malley, the former Maryland governor, released a "buzzy" political video in November 2013 in tandem with visits to New Hampshire. He also headlined a Democratic Party event in South Carolina, which holds the first Southern primary.
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, a social conservative, gave Mitt Romney his toughest challenge in the nomination fight last time out and has made trips recently to early voting states, including Iowa and South Carolina.