Clinton Gears Up

Jonathan Bernstein wonders if she just “clinched” the nomination:

There were two indicators this week. First, after months of playing around, Senator Elizabeth Warren finally declared herself out more definitively. It wasn’t Shermanesque, and plenty of politicians  have entered or re-entered past presidential races after more solid exits, but it’s getting late for someone to rule out a run and still have time to mount a serious one. …

The other development this week  is that several big-name operatives have signed on to Clinton’s campaign, even though she hasn’t even made an informal announcement yet that she is running.

First Read covers the recent hires:

[B]y grabbing Obama’s chief pollster (Joel Benenson) and media consultant (Jim Margolis), Clinton has decided to enlist key parts of Obama’s campaign 2008-2012 team, discarding the folks who ran her polling and media in ’08. And she isn’t only grabbing Benenson — she’s lured the other part of Obama’s polling/analytics organization (John Anzalone and David Binder), the Washington Post reported. When you add the fact that John Podesta is leaving the Obama White House to serve as a liaison between the Clinton campaign and White House (as well as to handle the Clinton Old Guard), it’s pretty easy to conclude that Clinton won’t be running away from Obama. In fact, it’s looking like she will be more connected to him than ever. And the people she’s hiring are the best-equipped campaign folks to reassemble the Obama-voter coalition.

Dave Roberts is happy about Podesta joining the Clinton campaign:

Podesta’s got long history in Washington and most of it speaks well of him. He was by all accounts a shrewd chief of staff for Bill Clinton; he founded the Center for American Progress, which has been a huge success; and more recently he has been working inside the White House to encourage Obama to be bolder, which is paying dividends in a sustained burst of executive action from immigration to community college to paid work leave to climate change.

Speaking of that: Perhaps Podesta’s greatest recent achievement is to convince the White House to be bold on climate even in the face of Republican wins in the 2014 midterms.

Cassidy chips in two cents:

The move was hardly unexpected: Podesta is a Clintonite through and through. He served in Bill Clinton’s White House from start to finish, rising through the ranks to become Chief of Staff, a post he held from October, 1998, to January, 2001. For months now, Podesta has been telling people that if Hillary decided to run he would most likely join her.

Now that Podesta has taken the plunge, it almost makes official what we already know: Hillary is in. And so are many longtime residents of Planet Clinton.