A Week Away from Iowa Caucuses, Clinton Feels the Pressure As Bloomberg Considers Run
A week from Monday Iowans will caucus, officially launching the balloting process in the 2016 race for president. All candidates will feel pressure, though perhaps none as heavily as Hillary Clinton. She has seen a large lead in Hawkeye State polls narrow against Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Some are asking will history repeat itself?
Hillary Clinton can boil down her pitch to one line.
"I believe I am the only candidate on either side with the experience and judgment to keep us safe at home and around the world," she said.
But after running on experience eight years ago — and losing — some wonder whether Bernie Sanders is a Barack Obama repeat.
Neutral in the primary, the President disagrees.
"If you look at both of them, I think they're both passionate about giving everybody a shot," Obama said.
Meanwhile former Mayor Michael Bloomberg is watching.
Aides say he could run as an independent, under certain circumstances.
Like if the socialist Sanders gets the Democratic nomination or wounds Clinton politically. And Republicans pick lightning rods like Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.
Trump meanwhile may be shooting pre-emptively, questioning whether Bloomberg is really worth $37 billion.
And if Bloomberg ultimately gets in the race, who is hurt more, the Democratic or the Republican nominee? It's early, but observers say it's the Democrat.
"The Democrats are obviously running experienced politicians, and say what you will, Michael Bloomberg is an enormously experienced politician with a great reputation for generally liberal activity in terms of his social positions, in terms of his health care policies, what many Republicans will undoubtedly pillory as nanny state policies," said David Birdsell at Baruch College.
Mayor de Blasio has been praising Bloomberg — for now.
"The people of this country are not going to turn to a billionaire to solve problems that were largely created by billionaires," de Blasio said. "They're just not. So I look forward to January 20 of next year when Hillary Rodham Clinton is inaugurated.
"I think she's going to win, and I think that's going to be a good thing for the country. But I wish Michael Bloomberg nothing but the best."
To Clinton, a Bloomberg bid is a moot point, at least she hopes.