As her expected April announcement that she will seek the White House in 2016 draws near, Democrats in the first states to hold primaries are asking, as if reading a popular children's book, "Where's Hillary?"
Like the elusive, well-hidden Waldo, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's presence is not easy to spot. In fact, in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, The Washington Post notes
: "Many of the Democratic front-runner's most active supporters are concerned that she's not yet doing the kind of face-to-face politicking that is well underway by a cast of a dozen or more likely Republican candidates."
With only 10 months to go until caucuses and primaries begin, Democrats who will be first to the polls are anxious to see their candidate, shake her hand, hear her speak and get a sense that she values them enough to personally show up and meet with them.
New Hampshire state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, a Hillary supporter, told the Post: "They're anxious because so many Republican candidates are coming here, they're flowing in, and it's like a parade on the other side. Obviously she's going to run. They're hoping she's going to be here so they can actually see her and engage with her and reinvigorate the campaign."
Some Democrats are concerned that Clinton, running virtually unopposed, is focusing on raising money and preparing for the general election, rather than building up grassroots support and credibility in the primary season.
, comparing Clinton to Russia's Vladimir Putin and his recent absence from the public eye, said, "Democratic activists keep waiting for the presumed czarina, er, front-runner, to show up and compete.
"That matters, too, because these states have significant numbers of independent voters who want to be wooed," adding that Clinton's apparent reluctance to jump quickly into the fray "emphasizes the lack of interest the Democratic front-runner has shown thus far in party fortunes there."
The website speculated that part of Clinton's reluctance to begin early face-to-face campaigning may involve questions she would have to face about her use of a private email during her State Department tenure, and donations to the Clinton Foundation.
"No matter where she goes now in campaign mode, Hillary will have to answer questions about the email scandal, and perhaps more problematic, about the foreign money that poured into her family's foundation during her tenure as Secretary of State," Hot Air said.
A Clinton insider told Politico
: "Everybody has an incentive to start this campaign — the staff, the consultants who are working for nothing and want to get paid, you guys in the media — everybody except Hillary Clinton."
Jerry Crawford, a Clinton supporter who chaired her 2008 Iowa campaign, told the Post: "If you've made the case with the American people that you're qualified and ready to be president, then your challenge is simply to give them an opportunity to know you and to develop a fondness to you."
South Carolina state Rep. Bakari Sellers, a Clinton backer, told the Post: "People want to see you, people want to touch you, people want you to pray with them. Those are things that have to be done.
"She doesn't have to live in South Carolina," Sellers said, "but we expect her to run hard in South Carolina and be in position so that little girls can actually run up and say, 'Oh, my God, I met Hillary Clinton.' That is how the excitement builds."
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