Recounts and ‘Random’ Selfies: Is Hillary Clinton Keeping Her Options Open for 2020?

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By Andrew Stiles | 9:55 am, November 28, 2016

Are Hillary Clinton’s post-election antics part of an effort to “keep her options open” in case she decides to run again in 2020, the year Democrats will have to select a nominee to challenge President Donald Trump?

It’s not as crazy as it sounds, according to former National Journal columnist Ron Fournier, who reported via Twitter on Monday that “people close to” Hillary Clinton are not ruling out the possibility of a future run.

Challenging the “legitimacy” of the 2016 election results — by participating in recount efforts colored by allegations of fraud and foreign hacking — is part of a plan by Clinton’s team to lay the groundwork for another presidential run, Fournier wrote.

Conventional wisdom suggests that after suffering such a shocking defeat to Donald Trump in this year’s election — eight years after suffering a stunning loss to Barack Obama in the Democratic primary — Hillary Clinton would have no desire to run again. And who could blame her?

But Fournier’s sources seem to think otherwise.

Clinton, who recently turned 69, has been involved in a series of “random” viral encounters with “average” voters since conceding defeat in the election, which might suggest some desire to remain in the political conversation.

Clinton recently snapped selfies at a grocery store in Chappaqua, N.Y., while doing some last minute Thanksgiving shopping with her family. Former President Bill Clinton was reportedly “busy looking at cheese.”

Two weeks earlier, Clinton “randomly” encountered a “heartbroken” voter while hiking in the Chappaqua wilderness. Some critics alleged that the photo might have been staged, citing evidence that the woman, Margot Gerster, had previously met Clinton at a fundraiser hosted by Gerster’s parents.

These encounters seem about as spontaneous her entire presidential campaign, which was excruciatingly conventional, and produced self-parodying headlines such as: “Hillary Clinton to Show More Humor and Heart, Aides Say.”

If Hillary Clinton does decide to run in 2020, she would have a chance to become the oldest person in American history (at age 73) to win a first term as president, breaking the record set by Donald Trump.

Trump, for his part, does not seem very concerned about his reelection, even though he hasn’t even been sworn in yet. He has assured us the people he chooses for his cabinet “will run our government for the next 8 years.”