Anxiety among Democrats has ticked up in recent weeks because of Clinton’s hospitalization for a blood clot near her brain. Clinton’s physicians have said she will make a full recovery and should be back at work in the coming week. But the medical scare has forced some in the party to take more seriously Clinton’s statements that she doesn’t plan to subject herself to another campaign.

Privately, Democratic strategists acknowledge if Clinton chooses not run, the list of women who could plausibly run for president next time is relatively short. Several top Democrats mentioned Sens. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York as potential candidates. Many liberal Democrats would like to see Warren run, but she has emphatically ruled out a campaign only a few years into her first Senate term…

But in 2013, there will be only one Democratic woman governor: Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, elected to her first term last month. The Granite State — which plays a critical role in choosing presidential nominees — made history in 2012 by electing an all-female House and Senate delegation, as well as Hassan and a female speaker of the state House of Representatives.

Against that backdrop, it could look simply anachronistic for a Democratic nomination fight to play out between, say, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.