Mark Murray, NBC NEWS
WASHINGTON (NBC News)–Analysis: Hillary Clinton isn’t simply dipping her toes into the 2016 presidential waters; it looks more like she’s sizing up for a somersault – with a full twist – off a diving board.
But if she ends up deciding not to jump in, Democrats want an answer sooner rather than later.
In the past few months, Clinton has concluded a big book tour with dozens of news interviews; distanced herself (either in small or substantial ways) from her party’s currently unpopular president; and is now heading next month to Iowa, which traditionally holds the first presidential nominating contest.
What’s significant about all of this activity, Democrats say, is that the more she walks and talks like a presidential candidate – effectively freezing out any other Democrats even contemplating a run – the more difficult it becomes to turn around and say no.
“The longer it goes, the harder it becomes for her not to run, unless there is a significant reason she can’t,” says Democratic communications strategist Karen Finney, an MSNBC contributor.
“A ‘no’ has to come earlier than a ‘yes,’” adds another Democratic strategist, who wished to remain anonymous. “If it’s a no, I suspect she won’t let it drag on.”