Report: Hillary Clinton to Launch Presidential Bid in April

Hillary Clinton at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women on Feb. 24 in Santa Clara, Calif. PHOTO: MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Hillary Clinton at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women on Feb. 24 in Santa Clara, Calif. PHOTO: MARCIO JOSE SANCHEZ/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hillary Clinton and her close advisers are telling Democratic donors that she will enter the presidential race sooner than expected, likely in April, a move that would allay uncertainties within her party and allow her to rev up fundraising.

Clinton aides have spoken of the earlier timetable in private meetings, according to people engaged in recent discussions about the presumed Democratic front-runner’s emerging 2016 campaign. Many within her camp have advocated her staying out of the fray until the summer.

Jumping in sooner would help the Democratic field take shape, reassuring party leaders and donors that the former first lady, senator and secretary of state is running. A super PAC loyal to Mrs. Clinton has faced hesitation from donors who don’t want to make big pledges until she is a candidate. Such concerns would evaporate after she announces.

But Mrs. Clinton would become an even larger target for Republicans when she enters the race. She also would be pressed to opine on a raft of thorny issues in the news, including how to combat the military advances of Islamic State militants in the Middle East.

One influential proponent of an earlier announcement is John Podesta, who is expected to play an important role in Mrs. Clinton’s presidential campaign, one person familiar with the matter said. Mr. Podesta, who in January resigned as senior adviser in the Obama White House, declined to comment, as did a spokesman for Mrs. Clinton.

Many Democratic activists say they would like to see the race begin in earnest—something that won’t happen until Mrs. Clinton jumps in.

Mrs. Clinton “should get in right now. If she’s going to run, get a campaign going,” said Jason Frerichs, a county Democratic chairman in Iowa, the state that holds the first contest of the 2016 campaign.

Mrs. Clinton, according to some close associates, doesn’t relish the campaign trail and is in no particular hurry to announce, especially given the scant competition for her party’s nomination. Most polls show Mrs. Clinton running far ahead of her nearest potential challenger, Vice President Joe Biden .

“She’s obviously biding her time before she gets out there,” said Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, a Democrat.

Mrs. Clinton, 67 years old, made known her feelings about grueling campaigns in a private meeting last month with London Mayor Boris Johnson. Mr. Johnson later said she had bemoaned the lengthy U.S. presidential campaigns.

During her 2008 bid, she teared up at a campaign event in New Hampshire when describing the rigors of campaign life: lack of sleep, an overreliance on pizza and limited ability to exercise.

“If I were taking this on, seeing what candidates went through last time around, I’d sure want to put it off as long as I could,” said Doug Goldman, a major fundraiser for President Barack Obama who lives in San Francisco. At this point in the 2008 cycle, Mrs. Clinton already was a candidate.

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