Democrats start shifting from Obama to Hillary Clinton

June 20, 2013 at 10:41 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- Democrats in Washington are beginning to look down the road -- away from President Obama and toward the 2016 campaign and Hillary Clinton, an insider said.

The former secretary of state has picked up endorsements -- and lots of requests to stump for candidates -- despite her saying she's not interested in another run at the presidency, The Hill reported Thursday.

President Obama remains the most sought-after figure for candidates' fundraisers, but observers note his wattage could fade in the coming months as chatter about his successor heats up.

"The political focus of the Democratic Party will shift to Hillary, and in some ways it has already," said former Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Democrat, who is a staunch Clinton supporter.

While Obama remains the party's policy leader, there will be an "inherent transition" politically to the person Democrats may view as the next leader, Rendell said.

That person is probably Clinton, who is polling far ahead among potential Democratic candidates in the 2016 presidential election, The Hill said, even though she's mum about her future political plans.

The Hill said Clinton allies repeatedly stressed her loyalty to Obama and that she hasn't made up her mind about 2016. Still, her supporters acknowledge she is the early favorite.

"There is a cautious presumption that the nomination is hers for the taking," said Phil Singer, deputy communications manager for Clinton's 2008 campaign. "People are excited about the prospect of a Clinton candidacy, but also cognizant a campaign is a long way off."

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