Cross-posted from The Nation
Perhaps it is time to drop the pretenses and accept that Hillary Clinton is an all-in, touching every base, dotting every "i" and crossing every "t" candidate for president.
The formal announcement swing will have to be scheduled for some appropriate day -- or week -- next year. Before it comes, there will, of course, be the final round of "will she?" speculation in the media. But that's just the dance that is done before the inevitable moment when Clinton makes her move.
The best confirmation of Clinton's candidacy -- short of an actual announcement -- came with the detailing (via Politico, the gossip gazette of insider positioning) of the presumed Democratic front-runner's exceptionally busy schedule for the month leading up to the November 4 midterm elections. Anyone who is serious about running for the presidency in 2016 has to hit the trail in 2014. It's not just expected, it's necessary -- as it is on the midterm trail that presidential candidates rally the base, test-drive messages and collect commitments from appreciative governors and members of Congress.
Clinton plans to do all of that, and more -- maintaining an intense schedule that will have her campaigning in every region of the country, jetting from fund-raising events in California and Florida to rallies in Iowa and New Hampshire.
As someone who has been around presidential politics since her high-school days as a self-described "active young Republican" and "Goldwater girl" and her college days as a New Hampshire volunteer for Eugene McCarthy's antiwar bid, she well understands the art of midterm campaigning by an all-but-unannounced presidential contender.