An air of inevitability exists around Hilary Clinton for 2016. Of course she hasn't said she will run -- that's a decision she said she'll make this year -- but she must feel pretty good about the tea leaves.
A new CNN/ORC poll out this week found that 70% of Democrats said they are likely to support her if she launches a presidential bid.
Additionally, she is beating top-tier Republican contenders, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, in hypothetical matchups.
Democratic strategist Maria Cardona predicted, with the caveat that a lot can happen between now and then, that if she runs, "I don't think she'll have anyone running against her."
That's because she is in such a strong position with her name recognition and her vast network of supporters, donors and campaign infrastructure ready to go.
Emory political science professor Alan Abramowitz said the chances of Clinton being upset, like what happened in the 2008 primaries, are slim.
"I don't see who's going to be the Obama of 2016," he said.
Would she say no?
But plenty of reasons exist for her to simply say no.
Presidential campaigns are unbelievable grinds and they can exact a substantial personal toll. They're full of endless days, personal attacks, and heart-clogging food. There are infinite details to master, personalities to manage, debates, and then throw in the unknowns.
She will be 69 on Election Day 2016 and would have been in the political spotlight for a quarter century by then.
She would have run once as the favorite for her party's nomination and lost. Many people might reflect on a similar public service career and conclude there's nothing left to prove, or that it's time for others to get in the game even if becoming the first woman president was the prize.
But what if Clinton doesn't run?
Multiple people associated with the Democratic Party say there is a host of promising potential contenders.
But one strategist, a veteran of several Democratic presidential campaigns who asked not to be identified so he could speak freely, said, "People saw Governor Clinton and Senator Obama as superstars." As for the potential 2016 crop: "No one talks about the rest of the field that way."
Except for Joe Biden.
"The truth is that, if Hillary doesn't run Biden becomes the class of the field by far," the veteran Democratic strategist told CNN. "It's gotta be Hillary or Joe or we're in trouble."
Biden has been cagey with his intentions, dropping humorous references but refusing to commit.
But his name recognition as vice president and as a veteran of the presidential campaign trail, some in the party think Biden is in a good position.
Though, he would be 73 on Election Day 2016 and 74 on Inauguration Day. That's "middle age" for a U.S. senator, but no one has ever walked into the Oval Office on their first day of work at that age.
Jim Manley, a former top Senate aide, thinks Biden "deserves a shot" because he's been "outstanding" as vice president.
But Joe is Joe. People either love him, hate him or forget about him.
For some Democratic operatives, Biden is almost an afterthought. People spouted off numerous potential Democratic candidates and Biden's name would come up, eventually.
"Oh yes, Joe Biden," said one strategist after gently jogging his memory.
The progressive wing of the party is not impressed.