Whether it is building or deepening a relationship with Mrs. Clinton — or navigating or repairing a long-term one — the men and women in the 2020 race must grapple with how the 2016 nominee will factor into the next 18 months.

“I love the Clintons,” said Terry McAuliffe, the former Virginia governor considering a 2020 run and a close friend of the Clinton family for decades. “But this is about the future.”…

But even as she offers supportive words, Mrs. Clinton has given the impression that she harbors a faint hope she could still become president one day. In private conversations, she occasionally muses about an opening, according to some who have spoken with her, sounding more wistful than realistic…

But even as she offers supportive words, Mrs. Clinton has given the impression that she harbors a faint hope she could still become president one day. In private conversations, she occasionally muses about an opening, according to some who have spoken with her, sounding more wistful than realistic.