Some Democrats said Tuesday night that Clinton will want to wait a bit to let the 2014 midterms pass, and to get some distance between herself and a bloodbath for her party. She also genuinely doesn’t seem ready to flip a switch on a campaign: A number of decisions still remain about staffing and, more importantly, messaging.
But others believe Clinton can’t afford to be coy about her intentions beyond the next few weeks, and forming an exploratory committee without an official announcement will not satisfy some donors and activists.
Clinton’s major problem was always going to be running as the candidate of the two-term party in power. Separating from Obama poses major risks for a Democrat who had trouble with portions of the base in 2008 and who served in the administration for four years.
The fact that Tuesday’s election that was seen largely as a statement against Obama may give Clinton some wiggle room with her own base to create distance from him. But a newly minted Republican Senate helps her to solve the problem of how to run against Washington.