High-profile gig signals Hillary Clinton comeback, insiders say

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On the same day that inflation hit a 40 year high in America, there was also the latest sign that Hillary Clinton is working hard behind the scenes to maintain relevancy in the Democratic Party.

The former Secretary of State is expected to speak at the New York State Democratic Convention next week, CNBC reported, citing a person familiar with the arrangement.

“She’s beloved by the mainstream members of the Democratic Party and her popularity is likely higher than that of President Biden,” the source said. “It’s good for her because it keeps her relevant, and her appearance is likely meant to galvanize the party and the audience.”

President Joe Biden’s approval rating dropped below 40 percent this week for the first time since he took office, according to a Real Clear Politics average of major polls, with just 39.8 percent of Americans approving of his performance in office, and the Labor Department announced Thursday that January prices were 7.5% higher than a year ago, marking the largest increase since 1982. Rising costs for food, shelter, and electricity were among the biggest drivers of inflation, all of which are crushing families on tight budgets.

While a January NBC News poll showed that Biden’s approval rating among adults stood at 43% versus 54% disapproving, an even worse result showed that only 15% of participants strongly approve of the president’s job, with another 43% saying they strongly disapproved.

Jay Jacobs, chair of the New York State Democratic Party, failed to respond to requests from CNBC to comment on Clinton’s rumored appearance. His chief of staff, Chris Melnyczuk, did not deny the report.

Melnyczuk said the party “reached out to a number of people to speak and, you know, we’re waiting back on confirmation from a number of people. So there are a few things in the works.”

“We’ve reached out to a number of folks, we’re not going to say who we’ve reached out to,” he added.

Clinton, 74, represented New York in the U.S. Senate from 2001 to 2009 and has said she will not run for political office again, but the Democratic Party appears to have come to grips with the reality that 79-year-old Biden cannot be the party’s nominee in 2024. Adding to their conundrum is that Vice President Kamala Harris’ approval numbers are even worse, and the White House reportedly has concerns about dysfunction and infighting in the vice president’s office.

Setting the stage for what would prove to be Clinton’s third White House run, after falling short to Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary and being defeated by Donald Trump in 2016, two former allies, Douglas E. Schoen and Andrew Stein, penned a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed declaring “it may be time for a change candidate,” citing among other things, concerns about Biden’s mental “capacity.”

“A perfect storm in the Democratic Party is making a once-unfathomable scenario plausible: a political comeback for Hillary Clinton in 2024,” the pair wrote. “Several circumstances — President Biden’s low approval rating, doubts over his capacity to run for re-election at 82, Vice President Kamala Harris’s unpopularity, and the absence of another strong Democrat to lead the ticket in 2024 — have created a leadership vacuum in the party, which Mrs. Clinton viably could fill.”

The former secretary of state under Obama suggested a play to the middle in a December interview on “Sunday TODAY,” where Clinton appeared to distance herself from the highly unpopular agenda being pushed by radical left Democrats — Biden took a similar approach while campaigning in 2020, only to surrender fully to the progressive base once elected.

“I think that it is a time for some careful thinking about what wins elections, and not just in deep-blue districts where a Democrat and a liberal Democrat, or so-called progressive Democrat, is going to win,” Clinton said. “I understand why people want to argue for their priorities. That’s what they believe they were elected to do.”

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