Hillary Clinton's non-existent 2016 campaign for President got a huge boost of support Saturday evening when New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the third ranking Democrat in the Senate, endorsed and encouraged her to run for the White House. "I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for president, and when she does, she will have my full and unwavering support," Schumer told an Iowa Democratic Party fundraiser in Des Moines during his keynote address.
Schumer believes the road to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is paved for a Clinton return. "2016 is Hillary’s time. And our nation will be all the better for it," Schumer said, before taking a shot at a Republican also thought to be angling for the White House. "With a strong platform and with Hillary leading the charge, we will vanquish the Ted Cruz, Tea Party Republicans in 2016 and create a generation of Democrats who will make sure the middle class gets what it needs, our country advances and the torch held by that beautiful lady in New York’s harbor burns more brightly than ever."
The New York Times' Jonathan Martin reports Schumer's endorsement "in such a high-profile venue had not come at Mrs. Clinton’s request." And yet, Schumer is the highest ranking Democrat to endorse her not-yet-born campaign so far. "The endorsement highlights Democratic attempts to coalesce support around Clinton, considered to be the clear frontrunner in the Democratic primary if she does run," adds The Hill's Jeremy Herb. House minority leader Nancy Pelosi indicated she'll endorse Clinton earlier this week, and a group of women in the Senate wrote a "secret" letter to the former First Lady requesting she run.
But Schumer's leap of faith may come back to haunt him. "The early endorsement could cause political trouble for Schumer if Clinton backs out of a campaign or ever falls behind another, as-yet unknown Democratic challenger," writes the Washington Post's Ed O'Keefe. In other words, Schumer has egg on his face if she decides not to run. (Which is possible!) But if Clinton does decide to run, which seems more likely, then Schumer can say he endorsed her campaign before it was cool.