The Washington Times - January 29, 2014, 10:15AM

There’s much talk about early bird political action committees who are already fundraising for a potential Hillary Clinton campaign for president. Such news takes a back seat to a close head count on Capitol Hill by The Hill newspaper, revealing how many Democratic lawmakers have stepped forward to endorse Mrs. Clinton, though she has yet to declare her intentions.

The numbers so far: 18 senators, 16 of whom are female - and 39 members of the House, a roster that also includes 13 women.


“The level of support is astounding, especially two-and-a-half years before the Democratic Party hosts its nominating convention. The total represents more than 20 percent of the 253 Democrats in the House and Senate. It is also more than half of the lawmaker endorsements Clinton received in 2008,” point out Jasmine Sachar and Bob Cusack, who made the count.

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland is among the Clinton fans, despite the fact that Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat in his own state, might also run.

Ready for Hillary, the grassroots super PAC founded by volunteers a year ago, recently revealed it had raised more than $4 million in 2013. The aggressive group has organized events in Iowa to place Mrs. Clinton on the ballot, hired a director for Latino voter outreach plus some additional staffers.

But a Clinton campaign could be a complicated business. Sen. Rand Paul has spoken out twice against the prospect of a “President” Hillary Clinton. The Kentucky Republican is leery of the idea that former President Bill Clinton could be part of the package should his spouse run for the White House.

He has not forgotten Mr. Clinton’s dalliance with White House intern Monica Lewinsky 16 years ago that ultimately led to the president’s impeachment. Mr. Paul told both NBC and CBS this week that it was “predatory behavior” overlooked by the news media. Now that Democrats insist that the GOP has carried on a “war against women”, the dynamics are even more complex.

“They have the gall to stand up and say Republicans are having a war on women?” Mr. Paul demanded. “I think it’s a factor. Now, it’s not Hillary’s fault. But it is a factor in judging Bill Clinton in history. This is in regard to the Clintons. Sometimes it’s hard to separate one from the other.”