A "team of mules" would likely be unable to drag Hillary and Bill Clinton into ever running for office again, according to former Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor (Ark.), but that hardly means they're done with politics.
"Many Democratic politicians have been personally influenced or share direct ties to President Clinton, Secretary Clinton, or both," Bill Clinton's first White House chief of staff told Politico. "That history goes back decades. And despite the grave disappointment, resilience is in the Clintons' DNA. So, while I certainly don't expect to see them trying to assert their authority, I think there will be natural and welcome opportunities for them to engage."
Hillary Clinton, for one, is reportedly studying up on where her 2016 presidential campaign stumbled, both in its polling errors but also the parts of the electorate that she lost. Neither Clinton is likely to try to rework the Democratic Party — a position now unofficially reserved for former President Barack Obama — but both Clintons could be involved in fundraising and campaigning by the 2018 midterms. Their entrance back into politics could come even sooner, too, with the gubernatorial races in New Jersey and Virginia in 2017.
Interim DNC chair Donna Brazile stressed that keeping Hillary Clinton around is important, even if the party is actively looking for new, young blood. To not count on Clinton would be "like taking your running back and placing them on the sideline just because you lost the season," Brazile told Politico. "As Democrats, we need to keep everyone on the roster — to recruit, raise funds, and more — even if they are no longer part of the starting lineup."