Washington (CNN) — Even though it was Republican party leaders meeting in Washington this week, Hillary Clinton might as well have been there.
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In the halls between Republican National Committee meetings, the former secretary of state’s name came up in conversation regularly. At a rules committee meeting on Thursday night, Clinton — the prohibitive favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 — was referred to as “she who should not be named.” And at the powwow’s most-watched events, Republicans pledged a laser-like focus on winning back the White House in 2016.
It seems as much as some Democrats are trying to fight the coronation of Clinton as their inevitable presidential candidate, most Republican bigwigs in Washington admitted they believe that all roads to the White House go through Clinton.
“I think it is the most realistic assessment,” said Steve Duprey, national committeeman from New Hampshire. “It is a party of one giant and a bunch of elves who might be running against her.”
“She has a political organization, she has the history, she has respect from being a senator, first lady, secretary of state, I think it is just prudent for the Republicans to assume she is the nominee and frankly I think it helps focus people,” he added.