WASHINGTON (AP) – The challenge ahead for Hillary Rodham Clinton is one faced by few White House hopefuls: running a primary campaign in which she faces little competition, if any at all.
Still not officially a candidate, the former New York senator, secretary of state and first lady sits far atop early polls against a small field of potential rivals for the Democratic nomination. None seems to be in any hurry to move into the race.
Few Democrats see an insurgent candidate on the horizon in the mold of Barack Obama who defeated Clinton for the 2008 nomination. That raises the potential of a Democratic primary season with few televised debates and little of the drama expected from a crowded race on the Republican side.
“No one wants a complete coronation, but it’s hard to see who a credible challenger will be,” said Steve Westly, a California-based fundraiser for Obama’s campaigns who is supporting Clinton.
Clinton has been meeting in New York with a group of advisers that includes longtime loyalists and veterans of Obama’s races. But the work of campaign planning involves trying to figure out when to get into the race, how to avoid giving off a sense of inevitability and how to generate enthusiasm among the party’s base for the general election without the benefit of a spirited fight for the nomination.