Congressional Democrats are already eager to support Hillary Clinton for president in 2016, and 56 of those lawmakers are offering their early endorsements, a survey conducted by The Hill newspaper has found.
Among the Democrats backing Clinton is Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., a fantasy candidate for some Democrats in the party's progressive wing, who has said she has no plans to run herself in 2016. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., who last year traveled to Iowa, a key early-voting state, is also listed. Other Democrats on the list span the ideological center-left spectrum.
Clinton has said she is weighing a run for president, but that is in no rush to make a decision. Clinton allies have been wary of anything that could paint Clinton as the inevitable nominee -- a label that plagued her against Barack Obama during the 2008 Democratic primary.
Still, Democrats have been restless to begin laying the groundwork for a potential campaign, and a few groups have begun to organize with the quiet blessing of the Clinton firmament -- including Ready for Hillary, a group building grassroots networks of volunteers and supporters, and Priorities USA, the pro-Obama super PAC that recently announced it would back Clinton in 2016.
In contrast to 2008, there have so far been no serious contenders stepping forward to challenge Clinton and some of the stronger Democratic opponents she could face for the nomination, like Vice President Joe Biden, appear hesitant to take her on.