Should Hillary Clinton decide to run for president, she'll be the favored Democrat for the nomination, Senators Dick Durbin and John McCain agreed Monday.
"I think she would be viewed by anyone, Republican or Democrat, as a very formidable candidate for 2016," McCain, a Republican Senator from Arizona, said at a City Club of Chicago breakfast.
But he warned that political spectators shouldn't write off another Democrat: Vice-President Joe Biden.
"Dick and I very close friends with Joe Biden, who's a wonderful guy, and so I certainly wouldn't count Joe Biden out of this mix," said McCain.
Clinton, who also happened to be in Chicago on Monday, hasn't publicly made a decision about whether she'll make another run for the White House. In an interview with New York Magazine last month, she said she is wrestling with the idea but remains "pragmatic and realistic" about another campaign.
Durbin reminded reporters that the race is still several years off and that in the world of politics, affinities can change quickly.
"I can recall a few years back when I said to my colleague, 'Junior senator from Illinois, you ought to run for president,' and he said, 'C'mon, do you really think I'm ready for this? Is this the time?'" Durbin said. "There are so many uncertainties when you get into this."
The senators' appearance at Maggiano's Banquets, at 111 W. Grand Ave., covered a wide range of topics, including immigration reform, the recent government shutdown and the Affordable Care Act.
While they're from different political parties, they are not far apart on several key issues. Both criticized the recent federal government shutdown as "bad for the economy."
The two are also in favor of immigration reform. McCain said that without it, the GOP "will not compete for the Hispanic vote."
However they are far apart on Syria and the United States' involvement there.
Durbin is up for re-election next year and there is talk that McCain will run for another term in 2016.