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A look at potential presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton

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  • Hillary Rodham Clinton

      Hillary Rodham Clinton
    Associated Press/Dec. 4, 2013

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- A look at Hillary Rodham Clinton's preparations for a potential 2016 presidential campaign:

Nondenial denial: "I haven't made up my mind. I really have not. I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year." -- ABC, December 2013.

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Book: Yes, again. Previously published author has a new book coming in 2014, with a national book tour to follow.

Iowa: No. Steering clear of the early caucus/primary states. (Third-place shocker in 2008 caucuses won by Barack Obama portended scrappy nomination fight to come.)

New Hampshire: No. (Beat Obama in 2008 primary to regain traction in nomination contest.) But Ready for Hillary, a super political action committee laying groundwork for her potential candidacy, now is mobilizing for her in the state. Craig Smith, senior adviser to the group, courted New Hampshire local officials, union leaders and the state Democratic chairman in a January 2014 visit.

South Carolina: No. (Distant second to Obama in 2008 primary.)

Foreign travel: Do birds fly? Former secretary of state doesn't need to globe-trot any time soon. Spent 401 days overseas, flying nearly 1 million miles. Limited overseas travel in 2013: honorary degree at St. Andrews University in Scotland in September; trip to London in October for a diplomacy award and a fundraising concert for the family's foundation.

Meet the money: Can tap deep well of Democratic and activist money. She's been raising money for Clinton foundation. Supporters launched a super PAC, Ready for Hillary, to support another presidential run, raising more than $4 million in 2013. Super PACs Priorities USA and American Bridge also could help a potential campaign. Prominent bundlers such as Hollywood moguls Jeffrey Katzenberg and Haim Saban have signaled support. Clinton worked fundraising circuit to help Terry McAuliffe's campaign for governor in Virginia and Bill de Blasio's mayoral bid in New York City. Both won.

Networking: A steady presence now on the speaking circuit, delivering paid speeches to industry groups and conferences and appearing before a number of groups with ties to the Democratic coalition.

Hog the TV: No. Clinton largely avoided TV interviews in 2013, giving a few when she departed the State Department, then sitting down with ABC's Barbara Walters, who named her the "Most Fascinating Person of 2013" in December. She appeared jointly with President Obama on CBS's "60 Minutes" early in 2013. NBC dropped a planned miniseries about her under pressure both from her allies and from Republicans.

Do something: For now, a record to be judged on as secretary of state, senator and first lady. Through the Clinton Foundation, she has launched an initiative to help children's health and a separate partnership to promote women and girls.

Take a stand: You name it, she's had something to say about it in her varied political life. Speeches in 2013 focused on the economy, housing, opportunities for women and finance. Obama objected to her proposed individual mandate for health insurance in 2008 campaign -- a contentious idea then and now -- only to adopt it in office. She backed Obama's threats to use force in response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria and said it was the reason Russia urged Syria to get rid of its stockpile. She has said the health care overhaul should be implemented and improved where necessary.

Baggage: Age; Benghazi, Libya; politics. She would be 69 on Inauguration Day. She lived through some grueling days as secretary of state. She counters with recollections of her energetic schedule as top diplomat. Republicans would love to pin blame on her for the 2012 deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi. She does just fine politically, until she gets political. Then her old enemies come out of the woodwork.

Shadow campaign: Keeping a traditional shadow campaign at arm's length for now. Ready for Hillary super PAC has received endorsements from Democrats such as Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm; several old Clinton hands are advising the group, including Craig T. Smith and Harold Ickes. The group is encouraging Clinton to run and trying to lay a foundation of grassroots supporters for a campaign if Clinton chooses to pursue one.

Social media: More than 1 million followers on Twitter, her preferred social media outlet. Tweeted congrats to Diana Nyad after her record-setting Cuba-to-Florida swim: "Flying to 112 countries is a lot until you consider swimming between 2. Feels like I swim with sharks -- but you actually did it! Congrats!"

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