WASHINGTON (AP) - Just about everyone thinking about running for president is kicking it into gear now, slowpokes included.
For months, many prospective 2016 presidential candidates have been rubbing shoulders with donors, networking with party leaders, getting on TV and otherwise auditioning for the contest ahead, especially on the Republican side.
Their pace is picking up. A few are even admitting now what has been obvious for eons: They’re interested in the presidency, even if they aren’t ready to commit.
Others have avoided the usual pathways, for reasons that make sense to them even if their inscrutability exasperates others. “This is the time to show a little self-restraint,” one of them, Jeb Bush, said back in November.
But that was then. He’s shed some of that restraint now.
Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inscrutability has bottlenecked the Democratic contest because several may decide not to run if she does. Asked in March, for the umpteenth time, about what she’s going to do, she responded in her practiced coy fashion. “Give me your name and number,” she cracked to a college student imploring her to run. “Obviously, thinking about all kinds of decisions.”
What’s clear is that springtime has arrived in 2016 presidential politics. Much more is going on since The Associated Press last took a broad look at who is doing what to get ready for a potential campaign.
Here’s a summary of the main players.
For the Republicans: Bush, the former Florida governor; New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul; Texas Gov. Rick Perry; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum; and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.
NONDENIAL DENIAL: Cagey words that cloak presidential ambitions, none too convincingly.