As the party winds down, all bets are on Hillary for 2016

 

Los Angeles

The first person to receive a telephone call from the newly re-elected Barack Obama was Bill Clinton, who had worked himself hoarse on the campaign trail in support of the first Democrat to hold the White House since he did. In 2016, it could be another Clinton on the phone.

Minutes after the ticker-tape had been cleared from the Chicago convention centre where Democrats had celebrated victory, bookmakers installed Mr Clinton's wife, Hillary, as the clear favourite for the party's Presidential nomination in 2016.

After four years as the US Secretary of State, Mrs Clinton, 65, has promised to leave the job "sometime after the inauguration" to recharge her batteries, perhaps write a memoir, and work for her husband's foundation. But optimistic supporters already have the White House firmly in their sights.

The topic "#Hillary2016" is trending on Twitter and websites have sprung up supporting a bid. You can even buy "Hillary 2016" T-shirts online. With that in mind, Ladbrokes has installed her as 5/1 favourite to be the next President.

In interviews, Mrs Clinton continues to formally deny any such ambitions, while carefully leaving the door slightly ajar for a run. "I have ruled it out," she insisted to The Wall Street Journal last month, before adding: "I will always want to be in service to my country."

After 20 years in the public eye, she currently enjoys some of the highest approval ratings of her career, at around 70 per cent. And a pre-election poll suggested that Mrs Clinton would beat Mitt Romney by a wider margin than Mr Obama.

As things stand, that would help her breeze past rivals for the Democratic nomination, including Vice President Joe Biden, the New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and Martin O'Malley, the Governor of Maryland. Many feel the party faces a dearth of real talent without her.

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