Clinton Prepping for 2016?

Political team still operating

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Why keep around your old campaign staff -- and leftover money -- if you aren't planning on running again?

    Oh sure, she may have recently told David Gregory "I'm out of politics," but that's just the sort of thing Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would say to throw reporters off the scent of a very quiet but deliberate plot to run again for president in a few years.

    Consider: she ran in 2008, gave it her all, and came up just agonizingly short of the Democratic nomination. Would you want to give it another go at age 68 and risk that sort of heartbreak and humiliation again? No. You'd say you were "out of politics" and you'd mean it.

    On the other hand: we're talking about Hillary Clinton, who may very well not abandon her presidential ambitions until she is, say, a hundred and ten.

    Thus, we greet the news that her 2008 campaign staff has yet to completely disband with a mixture of "Well, John Kerry didn't wind down his campaign till three years after the election" with a healthy dose of "Good God, is she hoping that 2012 might be an option?"

    Clinton's failed presidential bid is now $1 million in the black, and her old Senate campaign committee has $2.1 million in the bank, much of it transferred in from the presidential account.

    The former First Lady paid eight staffers nearly $100,000 in the second quarter of the year to tend to the remains of her political empire.

    It sure is a lot easier to revive the zombie corpse of your old campaign if you keep that corpse hanging around for a while. Bank accounts, mailing lists, donor rolls ... the whole thing could come together pretty quickly .

    Or she could wind it all down and sell off the last of the campaign's assets. Either way, Secretary Clinton is sure to delight and intrigue for many years to come.

    Certified Clintonologist Sara K. Smith writes for NBC and Wonkette.