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Hillary Clinton avoids the 2014 campaign trail in favor of pricy speech gigs

 Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on stage at the campus of Lehman College
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks on stage at the campus of Lehman College
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Michael Barone noted in a Sunday piece in the Washington Examiner that Hillary Clinton is not doing something that potential presidential candidates usually do, which is to campaign for and endorse candidates for the 2014 midterm elections. She prefers to amass money with pricy speaking engagements. This contrasts with many Republican potential candidate such as Ted Cruz who have made numerous endorsements of like-minded candidates. There are a number of sound and not so sound reasons for this.

First, Clinton has rightly decided that 2014 is going to be a terrible year for Democrats. Why bother to campaign for and endorse candidates who are going to lose anyway? She can always, after the fact, blame the coming debacle on President Obama, which would tie in nicely with her overall strategy of distancing herself from the president whom she previously served.

The other reason is that she believes that she is a lock for the Democratic nomination in 2016. So she doesn’t have to bother flying about the country campaigning for congressional and gubernatorial candidates. It is for them to seek her favor and not the other way around. Indeed she has been acting more like a queen in waiting than a potential candidate, recently demanding a presidential suite at a Los Vegas hotel.

This may be a big mistake. In contrast, Elizabeth Warren, the far left junior senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been very busy on the campaign trail, supporting candidates who tout her version of unalloyed progressivism. Very few if any elections are going to be swayed by her endorsement, unlike Sarah Palin whose nod is eagerly sought by Republican candidates. But that is not the point. Warren will have shown up, something that will be noticed by base liberal voters in 2016.

Clinton seems not to have learned anything from her unhappy experience in 2008, a year when she was inevitable as well. But then a young, relatively unknown freshman senator with a foreign sounding name took the nomination away from her. The rest, as they say, was history.