A full two years and two months before the 2016 presidential primaries begin, Hillary Clinton was back in town helping wealthy Chicagoans raise money for charity.
Hours before the former Secretary of State arrived at her noon hour speech, Hillary Clinton's future was a topic at the Chicago City Club breakfast. Senator Dick Durbin and Arizona's John McCain agreed the former First Lady-- a suburban Park Ridge native-- is the front runner to be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee.
"I think she would be viewed by anyone--Republican or Democrat--as a very formidable candidate," said Sen. John McCain (R-Arizona).
"Hillary Clinton is the odds-on favorite to be the Democratic nominee and elected President if she makes that decision," said Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Illinois).
The news media was not allowed inside Clinton's speech at the Jewish United Fund luncheon where attendees paid a minimum $5,000 a plate. It was her second appearance here in the past six weeks on behalf of a Chicago charity.
One-time Republican presidential nominee McCain said the former Secretary of State has a nearly unblemished record of public service.
"Her work as Secretary of State with the exception of this issue of Benghazi--which is not going away--I think has been outstanding," said Sen. McCain.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel introduced Clinton's appearance. Earlier, the former White House Chief of Staff was asked if he thought the growing eavesdropping scandal at the National Security Agency-- which happened on Clinton's state department watch--could derail her possible White House aspirations.
"Given how Washington runs through issues, it's three years to go. No, I don't think it will have any impact on that. That's from a political standpoint. People will have to get to the bottom of the issue," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The mayor also said Monday he would support a Hillary Clinton run for the presidency. Emanuel, of course, was a senior adviser in the Bill Clinton White House during the 1990s. It doesn't hurt to raise money alongside people who might be tapped for campaign contributions in the future.