CNN: Until Hillary ‘Has a Viable Challenger,’ There Will Be ‘an Air of Inevitability’
KING: "Jeff, you write a piece that's on cnnpolitics.com -- I urge everyone to take a peek at it this morning - that says aides were told essentially get back as of this morning because this could happen any second as we sit right here."
ZELENY: "Any second, any day more likely, probably not any second, but the reality is this is all coming, they signed the lease on Friday, which means they have 15 days to act on this presidential campaign. But really more importantly what's happening is how they are going to present her as a candidate. We are finding out that there will be no big rallies. No big crowds, really trying to make this smaller one on one conversation, trying to reintroduce her. But the big question is, can someone like this so famous, so well- known actually be introduced the second time around. That's their burden."
KING: "But someone with a 100 percent name identity. Let me read, to your point, let me read one sentence from your article here. 'As she and a coterie of advisers prepare to launch her campaign, their work is guided by a new set of humble principles, no big crowds, few soaring rallies. Less mention of her own ambitions and extinguish the air of inevitability propelling her candidacy.' The air of inevitability has a lot of Democrats have been complaining, where are you? Come out to Iowa and do small house parties, fine. Come to New Hampshire, do small events, fine. Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb will be in Iowa this week, and yet among Democrats there is an air of inevitably."
KUCINICH: "Until she has a viable challenger, there will be an air of inevitability. When you have someone like Martin O'Malley who has been slowly presenting himself as a challenger, he still hasn't given a reason why O'Malley rather than Clinton. That's their challenge to actually present a good challenger because otherwise, they're a sacrificial lamb -- going up against Hillary just for kicks."
KING: "It's interesting because a lot of Democrats complain, let's see a race. I was up in Boston last week even Mayor Marty Walsh, who is likely to support Hillary Clinton, was like, let's not have a coronation, let's have a fight. Let's test her essentially and get the rust off in a good campaign. And yet, listen to Gary Hart in a political interview published on Sunday, not Gary Hart the former Democratic senator and presidential candidate. 'I'm now told the Clinton campaign intends to raise $1 billion.' Now, that ought to frighten every American. If you've got a billion dollars to run for president, how many people can do that, only the Clintons and the Bushes, and one or two others, not Jim Webb or Martin O'Malley or Bernie Sanders."
ZELENY: "That's right. A billion dollars sounds a lot of money, of course, it is, but now any modern day presidential campaign is going to be a billion dollars. But the reality is, what her advisers are finding when they are going out there They're visiting Iowa. They are visiting New Hampshire. They're finding that some Democrats are not necessarily all that excited just to see her. They want a campaign and a race and some Clinton advisers actually wish there was more of a challenger. It would be easier to run against some person than kind of this mythic physical out there in the party. It would be easier to run against an Elizabeth Warren rather than the idea of Elizabeth Warren. We don't think she is running, obviously, but the Clinton campaign, she is going to be running against herself, first and foremost. That's what they know, but it's time to get in it I believe."
KUCINICH: "Particularly you'll hear concern among progressives because progressives think that they're going to be left behind, which they have been by this president in some ways. I think there is that frustration there. As you say, there is a mythic figure. There isn't anyone should really be their champion right now."
KING: "We are about to get into the Republican's primaries. They are always about ideology and if you don't have it. That's how she got beaten in 2008. Barack Obama got to her left on the Iraq war issue. The question is will these issues emerge. One other thing before we move on, though, she has an appointment yet to be scheduled at as far as we know with the Select Committee on Benghazi. They want to interview her in private first then they will be public testimony. The biggest issue is why did she wipe her private e-mail server? Did the people inside the campaign think that's a speed bump and they get through it or they think it's potentially a danger zone?"
ZELENY: “The people inside her orbit believe that this ultimately will be a good thing for her. They say she will only appear publicly and they believe that running against House Republicans, against this Congress is a good thing. But we still don't know what's in all those e-mails and they don't necessarily either. If they can say it's a speed bump, we'll see. I think we still have to see how she presents herself in that hearing.”
KING: “Right. It's a public official with a lot of experience in this realm of secrecy and transparency and the like. I think she still has a lot of explaining to do. How you completely wipe without having an outside source saying, OK, you give the government everything it deserves, now you can wipe it. Without a second opinion on that one, she still has some answering to do there.”