The HRC Launch

So the big news in politics today is that Hillary Clinton will formally announce her presidential candidacy via social media at Noon EST Monday, while she’s en route to Iowa to begin a brisk early-states tour.

There will not, in other words, be any of the multi-stage exploratory committee stuff for HRC. And people writing about her will no longer have to include one of those “to be sure” sentences acknowledging the possibility that she might not run at all.

Given the snail’s-eye view of politics exhibited by many of our little friends in the MSM, you can expect there to be enormous attention paid in the coverage of the roll-out of the Quinnipiac polls released yesterday showing HRC losing steam in Iowa and Colorado, where her unfavorables are up and she actually narrowly trails Rand Paul in test heats. Some will and some won’t bother to mention the Q-Pac poll for Virginia released along with the CO and IA surveys, which show HRC actually increasing her lead over all the GOP candidates since February. It’s also interesting that even in CO and IA, the two candidates most likely to win the GOP nomination, Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, aren’t exactly going gangbusters; Bush’s favorable/unfavorable ratings are 29/44 in CO, 31/38 in IA, and 32/38 in VA, while half or more in all three states don’t know enough about Walker to rate him.

In any event, HRC will probably get a post-announcement bump and before long we’ll know if the Q-Pac numbers are outliers or leading indicators of trouble for Clinton. The Sunday launch date means this weekend will feature a full complement of fresh and stale HRC profiles, many of them as forgettable as polls that happen to come out at a fortuitous time for publicity.

Meanwhile, HRC’s pre-announcement has stepped all over Linc Chafee’s establishment of an exploratory committee to take her on. And his proto-campaign might have already peaked.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.