During her weekend visit to Iowa, the first visit since her devastating third-place showing in the 2008 Iowa caucuses, Hillary Clinton
confirmed she was thinking about another run for the presidency.
"Well, it is true, I am thinking about it. But for today that is not why I am here. I am here for the state," the former Secretary of State told a crowd of Democratic activists gathered for the 34th and final annual Steak Fry held by retiring Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.
The current front-runner for the Democratic nomination may garner headlines by playing coy, other Democrats are working hard under the radar to establish themselves as legitimate alternatives to Clinton.
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has returned several times since his first visit in June and already has 11 staffers on the ground working to help elect Hawkeye State Democrats — and build a network of allies for a potential 2016 run.
“He’s committed to electing Democrats in 2014, and this commitment of staff in Iowa is part of that strategy,” said Lis Smith, a spokesman for O’Malley, told The Daily Beast
The former Baltimore mayor demonstrated his dedication to this strategy during his first visit when he accompanied Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jack Hatch on several campaign stops all across the state, reports The Washington Post
O'Malley also delivered an address to Iowa's Democratic Convention
Several staff members of O'Malley's political action committee are now working for Hatch, and the governor attended several fundraisers across the state for down-ballot candidates in July, reports The Des Moines Register
While his trip did not make headlines, it made an impression on Harkin, who told The Washington Post he would like to see O’Malley "continue to put himself forward as a national leader."
He added that does not constitute an endorsement, but he added, "he has the qualifications to be president, and I like that’s he getting out here early."
Clinton's super PAC, the Ready for Hillary, has already visited all of Iowa's 99 counties, reports The Hill
"Iowa is retail politics and she's going to have to do retail politics. She's got some work to do … she has to be presenting herself as the compassionate person we know she is," former Iowa Lt. Governor Patty Judge, a Clinton supporter, told The Hill.
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