Hillary Clinton isn’t expected to announce her intentions about a presidential bid until after the midterm elections, but it’s already a real possibility she won’t face any real opposition if she decides to run.
California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) told reporters yesterday he wasn’t going to run. He joins Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) who said late last year she wouldn’t be a candidate either.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) clearly wants to run, but has said he won’t if Clinton is a candidate. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is also thought to have ambitions for higher office but almost no one thinks he would challenge Clinton.
Vice President Joe Biden clearly wants another chance and has been keeping up his political travel over the last year. But nearly every early poll shows him losing to Clinton by a wide margin.
Former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) clearly enjoys talking about running for president, but he did the same about running for U.S. Senate last year and ultimately decided against it.
Of course, there are always candidates who run simply for the attention and publicity. Dennis Kucinich or Al Sharpton or Mike Gravel may announce their candidacies in a hope to get on stage in a nationally-televised debate. But if Clinton is the only serious candidate running, will there even be any televised debates?
As Walter Shapiro tweeted, not since Richard Nixon in 1960 has any presidential candidate been handed a first time nomination without serious opposition.
First Read cautions that American politics "is full of surprises. But right now, the smart money is on Hillary facing little to no opposition if she runs in 2016."