Clinton’s political team, many of them still in exile from the Obama White House, whether in the private sector or in other government posts, remains on standby. They are also the most invested in her prospects: Their relevance depends, to a degree, on hers. One, Ann Lewis, maintains an organization based on Clinton’s massive email list. It’s called NoLimits.org. Another, pollster Mark Penn, conducted a public survey for The Hill this week that included a pot-stirring match-up of Clinton and Obama in 2012.

These advisers and supporters remain, to varying degrees, on the outside, but many still talk to Clinton or to her husband. Clinton recently finished paying off the debts her 2008 campaign owed Penn – a mark of their continued relationship.

And Penn, for one, Woodward reported in his latest book, sees the secretary of state job as a potential stepping stone, perhaps via the vice presidency, to the White House.