It was December 2013, three years before the election, 15 months before the public launch, when Hillary Clinton and a small, secret group of advisers first started working through plans for a presidential campaign with a rough two-page outline, prepared by veteran strategist David Plouffe, for what internally became known as the “roadmap.”

The document laid out 14 “key areas” that would have to be in place before Clinton had even made a final decision to run: the message (“2014 should be used to answer: ‘Why me?’”), the organizing model (“Kerry ’04?” “Obama ’08?”), the primary strategy (“at least three strategic approaches”), and the crucial primary calendar (“possible adjustments to help in the primary and cause mischief on the other side?”). Two months later, aides had revised the roadmap outline into the “roadmap work plan,” a detailed table tracking projects and “next steps.” By the spring of 2014, they were commissioning research and assessing possible changes to the primary calendar that might ease Clinton’s path.

The roadmap, among dozens of early planning documents made public after Russian hackers targeted Democrats, details the extent to which building a presidential campaign can begin as much with the question of whether a candidate wants to run, and why, as with the work they must do in order to run, let alone run and win.