The “Hillary in 2016″ train is gathering steam, as 57 Congressional Democrats are already on board, even though the former First Lady and Secretary of State hasn’t yet announced that she will be running for president.
According to a survey of all Democrats in Congress conducted by The Hill, 22 have already gone public with their support for Clinton and an additional 35 members would vote for her in the Democratic primary.
Considering that we are still 2 ½ years away from the election, the 57 already lined up for Hillary is quite impressive and represents more than half the endorsements Hillary received in 2008 when she ran against Barack Obama. Moreover, the total equates to more than 20 percent of the 253 Democrats in the House and Senate.
Some of Clinton’s supporters are quite enthusiastic about her potential candidacy. “I would jump off the Willis Tower, which is the tallest building in Chicago, to support Hillary Clinton,” Danny Davis (D-IL) told The Hill. Other advocates for Hillary were more measured in their response; “I was happy to support Barack Obama, and I’m happy to support Hillary Clinton,” remarked Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ). House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) endorsed Clinton early on and affirmed he is an “admirer” of Clinton’s and believes she would make an “excellent president.”
Mrs. Clinton also has captured the support of even those who found themselves on Hillary’s notorious “enemies list.” The existence of the list was made known in HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton, a new book by The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Bloomberg’s Jonathan Allen. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who backed then-Sen. Barack Obama over Clinton in 2008 and told NBC’s Meet the Press then that she wouldn’t want President Bill Clinton even near her daughter, is now fully on board for Hillary.
Most congressional offices did not respond to requests for comment or declined to comment. One Senate Democratic aide said, “You want us to comment on whether the senator supports a candidate who hasn’t declared, in a race that isn’t underway and in which no one is running?”