James Carville: ’90 percent’ of Democrats want Hillary Clinton to run for president

December 9, 2012

Democrats overwhelmingly want Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016, former Clinton adviser James Carville said on Sunday. 

"I don't know what she's going to do, but I do know this: The Democrats want her to run," Carville a friend of both Bill and Hillary Clinton said on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." And I don't just mean a lot of Democrats. I mean a whole lot of Democrats, like 90 percent across the country.  We just don't -- we just want to win.  We think she's the best person....  And that's across the board."

Clinton, who has said she plans to step down next year as the nation's chief diplomat, will do so in very good political shape. According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, two-in-three Americans said they hold a favorable impression of Clinton, while 57 percent of Americans say they would back a 2016 Clinton presidential candidacy. 

"Every Democrat I know says, "God, I hope she runs. We don't need a primary.  Let's just go to post with this thing.  We don't want to fight with anybody over anything,'" Carville said.

Mary Matalin, a Republican strategist and Carville's wife, rejected the notion that Clinton would instantly clear the Democratic field. 

"I love Hillary," countered Matalin, who appeared on the same program. "I wish she would run.  But it defies human nature to think that Democrats, even though they are redistributionist and utopians, would not be competitive, that [Sen. Mark] Warner or all these other Democrats who've been waiting in the wings are going to have a dynasty, since Democrats are always complaining about these dynasties, they're going to have another Clinton step up, and everyone's going to go, yeah, step back?  I don't think so."

Republican strategist Matthew Dowd chimed in: "The whole race in 2016 right now pivots off of her. I think that, whether or not other Democrats run, it's all going to pivot off of her.  And even the Republicans to a degree are going to pivot off what she does."

Sean Sullivan covers national politics for “The Fix.”
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Sean Sullivan | December 9, 2012