Here’s how I believe she sees the playing field, and why she can’t be ignored.
First, because there’s no clear front-runner for the nomination 18 months into Trump’s presidency, Clinton remains the closest thing to an incumbent. She’s also got numerous advantages, from name recognition to campaign experience to an off-the-shelf Cabinet, that could give her a head start.
Second, a crowded, diverse field diminishes the chances of anyone knocking her off. Recall how Trump outlasted 16 GOP rivals by having a committed core of supporters that grew as the field shrunk. Clinton could be in a similar position — unpopular among many, but also unbeatable by a single opponent.
Third, looking ahead to the 2020 primaries, she sees no reason to fear the favorite daughters and sons in key blue states. She would almost certainly beat Sen. Kamala Harris in California, Sen. Cory Booker in New Jersey and Gov. Andrew Cuomo in New York.