“It’s not so much a function of Hillary feeling like she needs to play catch up,” said Phil Singer, a consultant and the deputy communications director for Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid. “She’s been in a position that prevented her from speaking out in real-time, and now that she’s unshackled by the boundaries of her office, she’ll step up to the mic.”

“I would bet my left arm that she’s going to be playing a significant role in the national conversation now,” Singer said.

Clinton, who opposed same-sex marriage in favor of civil unions during her campaign four years ago, had to rush to “get on the train for gay marriage, because the train was leaving the station,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. (Her announcement came just a week before the Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments for the cases against the federal Defense of Marriage Act and California’s same-sex marriage ban.)

Clinton, though, will have to do more to reintroduce herself, politically, to the American people over the next three years, said Sabato.

“She has some flexibility. When exactly that will expire, I can’t say. But she has time,” he said. “No one expects her to have a press conference this month and say, ‘I missed the following issues over the last four years, so let me tell you where I stand precisely,'” Sabato added.