Jansing and Co | January 29, 2013
>>> well, this didn't take long. just days before she leaves the state department , the first hillary clinton 2016 super pac has formed. ready for hillary has filed with the fec and already has nearly 50,000 followers on twitter. right now, clinton is holding her 59th and final town hall meeting as secretary of state. friday is her last day and she's leaving with a nice parting gift. "bloomberg businessweek" reports that top obama donors -- obama donors -- paid off her remaining 2008 campaign debt with a check for $250,000. let's bring in democratic strategist and pollster, marji omara, and johnny collegio, as well as former press secretary for the national republican congressional committee . good morning.
>> good morning, chris.
>> so first you have hillary clinton 's joint interview with the president on "60 minutes," it was described be many people as a lovefest. we're learning his top campaign donors paid off her outstanding campaign debt. what's going on here, marji? is this a passing of the torch, joe biden notwithstanding?
>> i think it shows a lot of overlapping support for the president for senator clinton , for secretary clinton . and i think that comes as no surprise. i mean, he's really relied on her in her position as secretary, just like he's relied on vice president biden , who's had a lot of strong successes and clear accomplishments in the last few months. and i think that all of this is consistent in and a good foundation for whatever secretary clinton decides to do next
>> and let's look at this super pac , jonathan , because you work for a very powerful one. how significant is it that two longtime supporters have already formed this new ready for hillary super pac , and how much is american crossroads spending on research already?
>> that's a little bit premature on our part. i think it shows a couple things. first, i think that people think that she's going to run. remember, the super pac can't talk to the candidates. i don't think that there's any inside information going on there. but all signs point to someone who, you know, when the presidential ambition is with you, it's a very, very difficult thing to slate. a lot of people think she's going to run. and we also know that super pacs can be extremely effective in primaries. when you look at mitt romney 's super pac , and how they were able to kind of take out all these candidates over the course of the 2012 primaries, it can be a very, very effective thing. i don't know how much this group is going to raise, but if they are -- if it ends up being the official hillary super pac , it could be a force to be reckoned with.
>> and i also wonder, margie , if this super pac does very well, very early, gets a lot of money, maybe other super pacs form, if that could be part of her decision-making process, if it could push her toward an affirmative decision.
>> it's possible. i think hillary clinton has a lot of things to think over. she has a well-deserved break ahead of her. and what's great about hillary clinton is that whether she decides in the next few months or in a year or in a year and a half, she's going to be a strong candidate regardless. she's going to be able to raise money . she's obviously incredibly well known, polls show she's incredibly well liked. and by contrast, when you look at candidate who is start much later, who don't have that national profile, that late start, they can't ever get off the ground. whether it's rick perry or jon huntsman , they just can't ever get there. so regardless of the timeline, i think clinton is going to be incredibly strong position.
>> speaking of who has a national profile, of course, it's not all about hillary clinton . joe biden has been building his brand. there has been a lot written about this. he's spearheading the president's gun violence task force . he did help close the deal on the fiscal cliff debate. now, his poll numbers aren't quite as high as hillary clinton 's, but i'm wondering, jonathan , as you look at it from the other side, how strong a candidate you think he would be. what about a possible dance between he and hillary clinton ? do i get in, don't i get in?
>> i would expect at least one if not both of them to run. they're both, obviously, very ambitious people. they've been very, very close to the seat of power. the issue that's going to be the weakness for both of them, quite honestly, is going to be generational. if you were to pair biden or clinton against rubio or paul ryan , you would have between a 25 to 30-year difference in age between these candidates.
>> yeah, she turns 69 in 2016 , he will be 74.
>> and both rubio and ryan were born in '70 and '70, respective. you could have a two-generation difference if it were rubio against biden . and for a country moving forward, i think that's going to be a very, very difficult sell, if it never comes out in a campaign.
>> or will it be, margie , experience matters?
>> i think there's a lot more to how young voters make their decision other than the age of the candidates. and certainly, both vice president biden and secretary clinton bring so much to the table in terms of reaching out to younger voters, latinos, women, all of the various demographic groups that republicans have really, really struggled with over the last few elections and are likely to continue to have a struggle with. and vice president biden , you know, he was able to make the swearing in look cool, after his great vice presidential debate and his work on the fiscal cliff. so, you know, he's able to connect with voters and really get people engaged and have some humor that i think gives him an added advantage with younger voters too.
>> jonathan , who would republicans rather run against?
>> oh, that's a tough question. i think that biden at 74, you have the oldest presidential candidate ever, hillary clinton would be the second oldest after ronald reagan . so i think either of those would really present an opportunity, especially for -- you know, the other thing it does, among democrats, it could create a problem for the leaders coming up in the party if they're not willing to step aside and let other leaders come up. i could see some potential weakness in a general under those circumstances.
>> how much do you think, margie , hillary clinton , i mean, she's obviously been through more than a few situations where she's been attacked, whether you're going back to white water or her health care , and of course, benghazi, i think we saw in the hearings, what a lot of the attack would be from republicans. is that a reason to hesitate? and could any of those stick?
>> look, i think if anyone's been able to weather challenges in the press, challenges from the right, challenges from the left, it's hillary clinton . and if she wants to, you know, if she wants to run for president, i think she knows full well what the climate will be like and what kind of criticism she might face, what kind of attacks she might face. right now she's incredibly popular, with republicans, with republican elected officials, with republican voters overall across america. right now, she is incredible ly popular. so she's in a really good place to think this over and move forward, if she wants to.
>> and i do wonder, jonathan , if that was a decision made by whoever running against her, on trm side, if that doesn't sound too old. if voters who don't seem to have a lot of patience for not moving forward anyway at this point, you know, you start talking about those kinds of things, they'll wonder, hasn't this been litigated already? can we talk about where the country's going ahead? i mean, could that really be used against her?
>> i don't know that it would be an explicit issue in the campaign. i definitely think it would be something in people's minds. and i do know just because you're qualified to be president, we have two very, very qualified people to be president there. that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to be the best candidate. there's a difference between governing and campaigning, as we all know. and that's really, i think, the question. is how good of a candidate either of them would be on the trail at that point.
>> on the record, jonathan collegio said they're both well qualified.
>> doesn't sound like he wants to run against either of them.
>> thank you, jonathan , thank you, margie .
>> a program note for you, our own andrea mitchell will sit down with secretary of state clinton for an interview coming up tomorrow, 1:00 p.m . eastern, right here on msnbc.