Hillary Clinton is a busy woman. She typically schedules public appearances weeks or months in advance, but as she heads into a jam-packed March, there’s a conspicuous presidential-campaign sized hole in her calendar starting at the end of the month.
The all-but-declared presidential candidate has seven public appearances scheduled in March, including several events promoting women, a couple of awards ceremonies, and a paid speech, all located between New York City and Washington, D.C. But she has nothing on her public calendar after March 23, possibly clearing the slate for a campaign launch in April.
Allies and advisers of the former secretary of state have long identified April as one of the most likely launch windows for her second presidential campaign. And now, the Wall Street Journal reports that Clinton has been telling donors that she’s preparing for a launch that month, in part to quell Democratic unrest that she needs to be more active.
Clinton and her team have been considering a two-step launch, which could involve starting an exploratory committee or some other means of accepting fundraising contributions in April, but holding on full-fledged campaigning until later. But she could also go all in in April, most likely after the Easter holiday.
Given her strength in the prospective Democratic primary, Clinton has the luxury of taking as much time as she needs to prepare before launching a run, but ironically could end up being the first presidential candidate to make it official if she decides to declare in early April.
That’s earlier than some other recent news reports, which indicated that Clinton was planning to hold off on a bid until later in the year, perhaps July. Following those reports, Clinton insiders told msnbc that nothing had changed, but declined to give a date, saying no "x" had been marked on the calendar.
Nonetheless, April has been circled on many Democratic and Republican presidential operatives' calendar, because it’s the start of a new fiscal quarter. Clinton allies say she, like most prospective candidates, would prefer to kick off a campaign close to the beginning of a quarter in order to maximize the amount of time she has to raise money before she has to publicly disclose her haul at the end of the month.
The former secretary of state has long believed that American presidential campaigns last too long -- a sentiment shared by most Americans -- recently telling London Mayor Boris Johnson that she admires the U.K.’s compressed campaign timeline.
Clinton’s March events were made public as early as December. And while others were announced more recently, the deeper that Clinton wades into March without putting anything on her calendar for the time beyond, the more people will suspect she’s preparing for a run that month.