Nightly News   |  October 19, 2013

Does the road to 2016 start here?

Hillary Clinton returns to the political stage as Sen. Ted Cruz get a rousing reception in his home state. Is this a preview to the 2016 presidential race? NBC’s Kristen Welker reports.

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

>>> we turno politi on aay when a once and possibly future presidential candidate reemerged. we are talking about hillary clinton hitting the campaign trail for a friend as a leading republican got a hero's welme in his state. kristen welker is at the white house tonight. good evening.

>> reporr: carl, good evening to yo hillary clinton was this the swing state of virginia today. senator ted cruz was on home rf in texas. while it is tooarly to know whether either will make a bid for the white house , the oics were unstakable. [ cheers and applause ]

>> reporter: off the sidelines and back on the political stage, hillary clinton appeared at her first public campaign event since leaving her post as secretary of state.

>> i have been in a lot of elections. [ laughter ]

>> reporter: officially endorsing long-time friend terry mcauliffe for virginia's next gornor but looking le a canada dad herselfhe tapped into therustration about the governnt shutdown and took aim at the tea pay.

>> we ha seen examples of the wrong nd of leadership. when politicians choose scorched eah over common ground

>> reporter: ed cruz, the tea party star who led the crusade to defund the president's health care w, spoke at events in his hometate of texas today, shoring his base and appearing every bit aotential 2016 contender.

>> oba carisn't working. not only isn't it working, it is not working badly.

>> reporter: cruz got a rousing reception at home. polls owhe tea party took a being aft the government shdo with a majority of american blaming republicans for theess. back at home in ilnois, adam kinsinger said he's hearing from frustrated constients.

>> i'm a conservative. i was elected to represent over 700,000 people. some folks you hear cticism from.

>> reporter: nbc news spoke with people who live inis district and expressed anger with washington.

>> they are t doing their job.

>> i'm embarrassed. i'm very embarrassed that we have politicians acting the way they are.

>> reporter: still, analysts say it is the republican party that faces the largest hurdle ahead 2016 .

>> the big question whether the republican bnd recovers and if it does how strong it becomes.

>>eporter: of cour, up next the 2014 mid-term elections. there is no indication that tea party house members will lose their seats. in fact, case in point, a super pac headed by jim demint recorded its best fund-raising month ever carl?