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Friends urge Hillary to make fresh bid for top job

FRIENDS of Hillary Clinton have urged her to launch another bid for the White House in 2016, arguing that her standing in the Democratic Party and the country would give her an excellent chance of victory.

Even as the votes were being counted last night, Mrs Clinton would probably have been thinking ahead to the next election and the wisdom of standing again after losing the Democratic nomination in 2008 to Barack Obama when she had been the heavy favourite.

Mrs Clinton would certainly be available. Well in advance of yesterday's election, she had vowed to leave her gruelling job as Secretary of State soon, probably in January.

She then plans to write a book about her time in office, but would then be free to prepare a bid for the Democratic nomination.

After serving as First Lady, senator for New York and now Secretary of State, her curriculum vitae for a return to the White House, this time as president, is exemplary.

Loathed by Republicans during her husband's administration, her work at the State Department has been widely praised, though the deadly terror raid on the US consulate in Benghazi could yet undermine her reputation, if and when the full facts become known.

To the surprise of many senior Democrats, Mrs Clinton's loyalty to the president has been unfailing, given their battle in 2008. There have been no leaks and no hint of discord.

Her most loyal aides are however still determined to avenge that defeat. At 65, she is still young enough and healthy enough to bid for the White House, though Bill Clinton has admitted she is "tired" after 20 years of active public service.

The former president has said he has "no idea" if his wife will make another bid, but did more than anyone to spark speculation when he declared her the best public servant and campaigner he had ever met.

"She's an extraordinarily able person. I've never met anybody I thought was any better than her at this," he said.

Newt Gingrich, the former Republican Speaker of the House, said on Monday that Mr Clinton is "collecting IOUs" by campaigning for President Obama, in case Mrs Clinton wants to run for president.

"Knowing Bill Clinton, I am confident that he thinks her running in 2016 is a good idea," he told Fox News.

According to the 'New York Times', the first question some other potential Democratic candidates are asking themselves is whether Mrs Clinton will run.

Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, reportedly told an adviser: "First, I've got to figure out what Hillary is doing."

The Clinton camp is adamant that she has not made up her mind about 2016. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent