Republicans could hardly contain their excitement after Hillary Clinton said she plans to get involved in the 2018 midterm contests, which Republicans see as a chance to contrast themselves once more with Clinton, the two-time failed Democratic presidential candidate.
"Hillary Clinton is a face that Republicans would love to have out there as much as possible and Democrats want to see as little as possible," said Doug Heye, a former Republican National Committee communications director. "Hillary Clinton was and is a divisive figure in the party."
Clinton promised to get involved on Wednesday, when she delivered a lengthy speech that blamed her November loss on President Trump, his alleged coordination with Russia and several other factors. In particular, she blamed the Democratic National Committee for not helping her enough in the general election and blamed the press for overplaying the situation involving her private email server.
Her remarks were widely seen as another example of her failure to take responsibility for the loss. But it also left Republican groups salivating at the idea of using her as a foil to raise money.
The GOP campaign arms of the two congressional chambers — the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee — both plan to fundraise off Clinton in the coming days and weeks, as they have in recent months off Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who has long been a Democratic foil for Republicans in campaign cycles. The NRCC said it is set to use Clinton in states like Minnesota, Maine and Ohio against various Democratic candidates.
"The NRCC would welcome Hillary Clinton getting back out on the campaign trail with Democratic candidates," NRCC spokesman Matt Gorman told the Washington Examiner. "She's still, in so many battleground districts across the country, unbelievably unpopular, and an overwhelming amount of voters still find her to be untrustworthy."
As for her own party, Clinton angered Democrats on Wednesday by going out of her way to bash the DNC. In her remarks, she said the party apparatus gave her "nothing" in the general election and said their data operation was "mediocre to poor, non-existent," and "wrong." She also praised the Republican National Committee's operation.
Despite that, Pelosi claimed Friday that Clinton would be more than welcome by Democrats to lend a helping hand, just as all party leaders are.
"There are going to be all kinds of messengers in this," Pelosi told reporters on Friday when asked if Clinton was a good messenger for the party. "Some people will be more helpful in some places than others."
"That would be great," Pelosi added of Clinton's involvement. "She is highly respected in our country, and it's going to take everything to defeat the Republicans because they will have endless special interest, secret, dark money flowing like black substance into the campaign, suffocating the airwaves with their misrepresentations. So we'll take everything ... We are proud to enlist all of our leaders in that effort."
At the moment, Democrats have the wind at their back in the battle for the House as they look to make inroads in suburban districts. That includes Georgia's 6th Congressional District, where Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican Karen Handel are running neck-and-neck despite longtime Republican control of the district.
Republicans, however, hope their numbers advantage in the House — 239-193 — could be too much for Democrats to overcome. Either way, Republicans are eager to make Clinton an issue for Democrats.
"For a lot of Democrats ... Hillary Clinton is the candidate who lost to Donald Trump, and that is the worst thing you could be for a Democrat right now," Heye said. "Any time she's out trying to respond to Trump or trying to explain away her loss, she reminds Democratic voters of that fact."