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On September 5, 2014, Clinton announced she would make a decision about her presidential candidacy after January 1, 2015. She stated, "I am going to be making a decision … probably after the first of the year about whether I’m going to run again or not."[1]
However, the Ready for Hillary Super PAC was formed in January 2013 to lay the groundwork for Clinton's candidacy. The PAC and Clinton's spokesperson have denied any contact between the two regarding a possible run.[2] According to an August 29, 2013 Washington Post report, the super PAC Priorities USA, a main fundraiser for Barack Obama's re-election campaign, is positioning itself to be the main media and advertising arm for a Clinton campaign in 2016.[3][4] When the U.S. was in its formative years, a secretary of state ascending to the presidency was commonplace, but the last secretary of state to be elected to the nation's highest office was James Buchanan in 1856.[5]

Preparation

Clinton visited Iowa on September 14, 2014, for the first time since losing her presidential primary bid in 2008, as a headliner to Sen. Tom Harkin's final steak fry before his retirement.[6][7] As a previous U.S. secretary of state, she also gained extensive foreign affairs experience. Since retiring, she has been an active speaker around the country.[8] Both Hillary and Bill Clinton actively sought support of African Americans during 2013, speaking at Howard University's commencement ceremony, at the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, at political strategist Bill Lynch's and former Representative William H. Gray III's memorial services and to the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Their speeches often touched on the issue of voting rights since the Supreme Court's ruling, striking down part of the Voting Rights Act in June 2013.[9]

Clinton announced on July 4, 2014, that all of the speaking fees from events at colleges and universities since she stepped down as secretary of state have been donated to the Clinton Foundation.[10]

2014 midterm support

Clinton's team announced an extensive tour throughout the U.S. leading up to the 2014 midterm elections with the purpose of helping the Senate maintain a Democratic majority and to show her support in key 2016 presidential states. Scheduled stops included campaigning for Alison Lundergan Grimes (KY), a family friend of the Clintons through Grimes' father, Bruce Braley (IA), Staci Appel (IA), Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mark Udall (D-CO), Senate challenger Michelle Nunn and at a New Hampshire women's candidate event for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Governor Maggie Hassan.[11]

Additionally, she planned to both attend and host fundraisers for various candidates, including one hosted by major Barack Obama donor Jeffrey Katzenburg in California.[11]

"Hard Choices" memoir

On June 10, 2014, Clinton released a new book, titled "Hard Choices." The book focuses on Clinton's four years as Barack Obama's Secretary of State. She began a months-long book tour upon its release including speaking events and television appearances. Some notable events during the book tour were as follows:

  • When discussing the book the day prior to its release, Clinton defended the high speaking fees she collects because when Bill Clinton's presidency she claimed the family "came out of the White House not only dead broke but in debt." Pro-Republican research group American Rising attacked the comments, suggesting they "reveal someone who is extremely out of touch with financial reality facing Americans."[12]
Media mentions
  • Both CNN and NBC cancelled film plans on the life of Clinton in September 2013. CNN planned to film a documentary until the director, Charles Ferguson, dropped out of the project. NBC cancelled a mini-series in early stages of development. Both companies felt pressure from the Republican National Committee who believed the networks were putting their "thumb on the scales" for the 2016 election.[13]
  • The production company Lionsgate announced talks to film a movie which, "portrays Rodham as a young lawyer on the committee involved in President Richard Nixon's impeachment, as well as shows her juggling a diverging career path with her unresolved feelings for future president Bill Clinton." James Ponsoldt was rumored to be named as a potential director.[14]
  • Clinton made the cover of TIME magazine in January 2014 with the title of the article being "Can Anyone Stop Hillary?"[15]

Public statements about possible run

  • October 4, 2013: Clinton hinted at a timeline for announcing a run. "I want to think seriously about it; I probably won’t begin thinking about it until sometime next year. I will think about it because it’s something on a lot of people’s minds. And it’s on my mind as well. But I want us to think more broadly," Clinton said.[16]
  • October 31, 2013: According to sources in attendance at a reception in Scotland earlier in October, Clinton remained noncommittal about a run. When asked by reporters about a possible run, Clinton replied: "I haven’t made up my mind yet." When her answer was sarcastically called unsatisfactory, Clinton added: "Yes, it is unsatisfactory. I'm minded to do it."[17]
  • November 21, 2013: During a speech in Philadelphia, a heckler yelled, "Hillary '16!" Clinton responded by stating, "That’s funny. Well there are some hecklers that I would never say anything bad about."[18]
  • September 5, 2014: While addressing a crowd in Mexico, Clinton claimed, "I do have a unique vantage point and set of experiences about what makes the United States operate well and what doesn't, and what a president can do and should be doing."[19]

Comments on possible campaign

  • On August 11, 2014, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) claimed he wasn't comfortable the public's endorsement of Clinton as the next Democratic presidential candidate, explaining, "I’m not quite sure that the political process is one in which we anoint people."[20]
  • On May 22, 2014, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, (D-MI) announced her endorsement of Clinton for the presidency, stating, "We need President Hillary Clinton. That's why I am honored to formally announce my renewed and unreserved support for Clinton as she considers a 2016 presidential bid."[21]
  • President Barack Obama commented on both Clinton and Joe Biden when asked to compare them on December 6, 2013, stating, "both Hillary and Joe would make outstanding presidents, and possess the qualities that are needed to be outstanding presidents."[22]
  • On November 4, 2013, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus stated the RNC is focusing on Clinton as the Democratic opponent in 2016, saying, "I think that we have to be very aggressive on what she’s done or hasn't done. And the things that she is famous for, like a botched health care rollout in the '90s, and Benghazi, and the things that she is involved with that are or went obviously pretty badly, we need to focus in on."[23]
  • Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel stated, "I'm behind Hillary if she runs. And I think she will. But that's up to her. If she runs, I'm in," on October 30, 2013.[24]
  • Sen. John McCain, (R-AZ) commented on a potential Clinton run for the presidency, stating, "I think she would be viewed by anyone, Republican or Democrat, as a very formidable candidate for 2016," on October 28, 2013.[25]
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill, (D-MO) stated, "Now, as I look at 2016 and think about who is best to lead this country forward, I’m proud to announce that I am Ready for Hillary," in support of the Ready for Hillary Super PAC on June 18, 2013.[26]
  • On November 3, 2013, Sen. Chuck Schumer, (D-NY) said of the Democratic Party's presidential chances, "With a strong platform and with Hillary leading the charge, we will vanquish the Ted Cruz, Tea Party Republicans in 2016 and create a generation of Democrats who will make sure the middle class gets what it needs, our country advances and the torch held by that beautiful lady in New York’s harbor burns more brightly than ever."[27]
  • Potential Republican candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) criticized Clinton in an August 24, 2014 interview, calling her a "war hawk." He stated, "I think that’s what scares the Democrats the most is that in a general election, were I to run, there’s going to be a lot of independents and even some Democrats who say we are tired of war, we’re worried that Hillary Clinton is going to get us into another Middle Eastern war because she’s so gung ho. If you want to see a transformational election in our country, let the Democrats put forward a war hawk like Hillary Clinton and you’ll see a transformation like you’ve never seen."[28]

Issues

  • On January 12, 2013, a list of Clinton's "enemies" from her 2008 presidential campaign was made public by the publishers of the book, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. Included on the list were then-Senators John Kerry and Ted Kennedy as well as current Sen. Claire McCaskill.[29]

Fundraising

Murdoch donations

Going back to Bill Clinton's terms as president, News Corp., owned by Rupert Murdoch, has given over $3 million to the Clintons' political campaigns. He also held a fundraiser for Hillary during her 2006 campaign for the Senate. When asked if he would vote Clinton if she ran for president, Murdoch said, "It would depend on the Republican candidate. I could live with Hillary as president."[30]

Ready for Hillary

The Ready for Hillary Super PAC has been organizing events across the country to garner support for a possible Clinton campaign. As of November 7, 2013, the team of 30 people has received donations from over 20,000 people. Operations began in January 2013.[31][32] The super PAC raised over $4 million in 2013 and finished the year with $784,640 cash on hand after taking expenditures into account.[33]

Public opinion polls

See also: Early presidential polling, 2016 and Presidential straw polls, 2016
  • According to an NBC poll released November 12, 2013, pitting Clinton against Chris Christie, 44% of adults supported Clinton while 34% supported Christie.[34]
  • Consulting company YouGov reported December 2, 2013, that for the first time in 2013, more people hold an unfavorable opinion of her than hold a favorable one. The poll claimed 48% do not hold a favorable view, while 46% view her favorably.[35]
  • A poll conducted on December 11, 2013, by Quinnipiac showed New Jersey Governor Chris Christie leading a hypothetical election by 1%. The results showed 42% of Americans supported Christie, while 41% supported Clinton. However, in a matchup between Clinton and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Clinton polled at 48% to Paul's 41%.[36]
  • A McClatchy-Marist poll released December 11, 2013, showed Clinton defeating likely Democratic challenger Joe Biden 65% to 12%.[36]
  • According to a Quinnipiac poll released January 21, 2013, Clinton led Christie with 46% supporting Clinton while 38% supported Christie.[37]
  • In a Washington Post-ABC News poll released on April 29, 2014, Clinton led Republican Jeb Bush in a general election poll with 53% support to Bush's 41%.[38]
  • A Granite State Poll in New Hampshire released October 9, 2014, showed Clinton receiving 58 percent of the vote with Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) getting 18 percent of the voters' support.[39]
  1. Politico, "Hillary Clinton: Decision after first of year," September 5, 2014
  2. Washington Post, "New pro-Hillary Clinton super PAC attracts donors and worries," accessed August 5, 2013
  3. Washington Post, "Pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA positions itself to support Hillary Clinton," August 29, 2013
  4. The Center for Public Integrity, "Hillary Clinton: the 'Citizens United' candidate," January 22, 2013
  5. Christian Science Monitor, "Hillary Clinton 2016: How many secretaries of State became presidents?," May 2, 2013
  6. The Hill, "Hillary Clinton headed to Iowa," August 18, 2014
  7. The Des Moines Register, "Clintons, Harkin to share stage at final steak fry," September 11, 2014
  8. New York Daily News, "Election 2016: A look at possible candidates and who could run in the next presidential race," August 17, 2013
  9. New York Times, "Eye on 2016, Clintons Rebuild Bond With Blacks," November 30, 2013
  10. Politico, "Hillary Clinton: ‘Fees have been donated’," July 4, 2014
  11. 11.0 11.1 Politico, "Exclusive: Hillary Clinton plans midterm blitz," October 3, 2014
  12. CNN, "Hillary Clinton in 2001: We were 'dead broke,'" June 9, 2014
  13. Washington Post, "CNN, NBC scrap plans for Hillary Clinton programs," September 30, 2013
  14. Washington Post, "Another Hillary Clinton film in the works," December 3, 2013
  15. TIME, "Can Anyone Stop Hillary?," January 27, 2014
  16. Politico, "Hillary Clinton: I’ll 'think seriously' next year about running," accessed October 31, 2013
  17. Politico, "Hillary Clinton: I'm 'minded to do it,'" accessed October 31, 2013
  18. Politico, "Hillary applauds heckler at green speech," November 21, 2013
  19. Reuters, "Russia may need to be 'coerced' to stop bullying its neighbors: Clinton," September 5, 2014
  20. Politico, "Bernie Sanders: Don’t ‘anoint’ Clinton yet," August 11, 2014
  21. Politico, "Debbie Stabenow endorses Hillary Clinton for 2016," May 22, 2014
  22. USA Today, "Obama lauds both 2016 aspirants: Clinton and Biden", December 6, 2013
  23. Politico, "Reince Priebus: RNC homing in on Hillary Clinton for 2016," December 5, 2013
  24. USA Today, "Prominent Democrats join Hillary Clinton bandwagon," October 30, 2013
  25. Politico, "John McCain: Hillary Clinton ‘formidable’ in 2016," October 30, 2013
  26. Politico, "Claire McCaskill endorses Hillary Clinton for 2016," June 18, 2013
  27. Washington Post, "Chuck Schumer endorses Hillary Clinton for president: ‘If you run, you’ll win’," November 3, 2013
  28. The Hill, "Paul: Clinton too much of a ‘war hawk’," August 24, 2014
  29. The Hill, "Hillary's hit list," January 12, 2013
  30. Politico, "News Corp has given $3m to the Clintons," July 2, 2014
  31. Washington Post, "'Ready for Hillary' campaign off and running, even if candidate isn’t yet," November 7, 2013
  32. Ready for Hillary, "About 'Ready for Hillary'," accessed November 11, 2013
  33. Politico, "Soros, Wal-Mart scion pony up for Clinton," January 31, 2014
  34. USA Today, "Poll: Clinton leads Christie in early look at 2016," November 12, 2013
  35. YouGov, "HILLARY CLINTON’S RATINGS UNDERWATER," December 2, 2013
  36. 36.0 36.1 Politico, "2016 poll: Chris Christie 42%, Hillary Clinton 41%," December 11, 2013
  37. Politico, "2016 poll: Hillary Clinton ahead of Chris Christie," January 21, 2013
  38. Washington Post, "Poll: GOP presidential race wide open; Hillary Clinton leads Jeb Bush in theoretical matchup," April 29, 2013
  39. Politico, "Hillary Clinton leads among New Hampshire Dems," October 9, 2014