Meet the Press   |  February 09, 2014

Hillary's Positioning for 2016

A Meet the Press roundtable discusses Hillary Clinton's political strategies looking forward to the 2016 presidential election.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> action. here's the question i think we have to resolve. how does hillary clinton position herself as something other than a default establishment choice with a complicated past and members in your own party are saying we're not going to let the past be forgotten.

>> i think it's a big challenge for her and probably the biggest challenge out there is actually obamacare. if you look at the policy in obamacare, it's similar to what hillary ran on in 2008 than barack obama . barack obama in the ohio primary said it would be unfair to make people purchase something that they can't afford to purchase with regard to the individual mandate. so i think she like many democrats coming up in the 2014 senate races are going to have a big trouble getting away from obamacare which are the policies she advocated for six years ago.

>> whether it's impeachment, whether it's obamacare, it's benghazi, mona, is that you're a veteran now of the obama white house . same question. how does she position herself as a candidate of the future?

>> first, i'm not sure that anybody knows exactly what her decision making process is or what the timeline will be.

>> right.

>> but she clearly is in no rush to make a decision and frankly, why should she? she's got everything she needs to run a fantastically successful presidential campaign , star power , organization, institutional support. i think she's got the skill set and the background that you need to be a president in this time in our nation's history which is an ability to deal with complexity and nuance and all the tradeoffs that come with being president of this country. so i actually think she's going to take her time as she should because it's a pretty conscious conventional decision and she knows that more than in anybody else.

>> the campaign ads , jonathan was pointing out at the end of that interview, the campaign's in place. there are two pacs. they've divided the lines of authority. they've got potential campaign managers lined up. she's got her book to do. she doesn't want a campaign announcement to muddy up her book tour. that's going to be a very big book next summer we believe. so at that point, after that she doesn't need to put in place the fund-raising apparatus and as was reporteded in hrc, they have kept very close all the fund-raisers, the big money people. she did in fact when she was at the state department you would see at state department events a lot of big moneyed people. they have always been part of her circle. it's never been disbanded.

>> the bigger question of how not whether but how she positions herself herself, e.j., is what i'm really interested in, how she runs.

>> she's got a great advantage which is she was in the obama administration, and if president obama 's doing pretty well at the end of 2015 or 2016 , she can talk about being the candidate of continuity. she's also been out for four years. if you want somebody really experienced she can run that way. the thing that i am struck by when people like senator paul raise the old bill clinton story is she always had the best answer to that in 2008 , which is what part of peace and prosperity didn't you like? and the country's kind of fought through bill clinton and they said yes, there is this is aspect of him connected to the scandal. but there's still a lot of fondness for the prosperity and she almost beat barack obama , if she had not messed up the beginning of the campaign been overconfident and fallen behind on delegates, she won the second half of that primary campaign. so she is a formidable politician.

>> what if the president is not doing well though? does she run away from him? does that anger the base? that's the pitfall.

>> she's got all the campaign staff , all the money. that's unimportant in the campaign i think. ]]gq?. she doesn't have the substance how is she going to govern so it looks different than under obama .

>> secondly, what are her issues? she's got to have three big issues that don't look like barack obama 's issues. coining i don't think she has that. i don't think she really is going to be able to appeal to the left and the base of the party. i think there's a 30, 40% chance jiri brown would be -- he's a little old, would be ideal, right personality, right state, right performance. there's going to be a challenge from the left.

>> one of the challenges for hillary is the bill clinton of today is not the bill clinton e.j. was just talked about. he was a moderate democrat president. harold ford was the upcoming star of the democrat party . today bill clinton is out there doing events with bill deblasio , the progressive mayor of new york city . over the last ten years, through the iraq war , through the primary challenge joe ses tech put up to joe lieberman , through the rice and fall of howard dean how the democrat party has become so much more progressive.

>> it's the democratic party and i think that that misread who's bill clinton was. bill clinton always had a strong populist streak, one of the reasons he won in 1992 . yes, he had the correction that the democratic party needed. he campaigned on raising taxes for the rich in 1992 . this is not --

>> there's a big gap between the era of big government is over and bill deblasio saying the horses that go around central park --

>> let me get mona back into this. andrea raised something before that is very interesting. is hillary clinton alex tension of president obama , a third term? there's a lot she has been an advocate behind the scenes . the books talks about that for health care reform . she's certainly been pretty hawkish in a way, you know, driving a lot of his policies. so where does his presidency end and his begin?

>> a lot of it companies 0 down to how the competent is doing at that point, 2015 . if things are moving forward and it looks like gdp growth is going to continue to pick up, the job picture looks better, she'll be able to say we've started to build the pillars of you new united states . let's keep that going. she's got room to show there's a dins in her approach. she can pull back to the clinton era in terms of style and the way they approach politics.

>> i think in the general election , huge advantage because of the demographics. but getting through the primaries -- i'm not sure the economy will help so much.

>> she'll also have to show what she achieved as secretary of state. benghazi will be raised over and over again. she has to show real accomplishments, and that is completely up in the air. we see what john kerry is doing and what negotiations are