Hillary Clinton - will she, or won't she?

2013-07-08 21:20
Hillary Clinton, Amerikaanse minister van buitelandse sake, luister in November na vrae op ’n dinee in Washington.Foto: REUTERS

Hillary Clinton, Amerikaanse minister van buitelandse sake, luister in November na vrae op ’n dinee in Washington.Foto: REUTERS

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

Washington - Hillary Rodham Clinton is trying to strike the right balance between staying out of the daily political maelstrom and setting herself up for a possible second presidential run. But her fans and foes are making that difficult.

Nearly six months after departing the State Department, Clinton finds herself in the middle of an early effort by both parties to prepare for her return to politics even as she keeps to a schedule of highly paid private speeches, work on her book and her family's global foundation.

Clinton has not said whether she'll seek the White House in 2016 but grass roots activists are already at work on a super political action committee called Ready for Hillary, which has rallied local supporters, started a fund raising campaign and rolled out prominent endorsements.

Republicans, meanwhile, vow to dissect her work during the Obama administration - including last year's deadly assault on the US diplomatic mission in Benghazi - and use the former first lady as a fund raising tool.

The efforts to define Clinton, who carries the scars of being seen as an inevitable president during her 2008 campaign against Barack Obama, underscore her tricky balancing act.

If she acts too political, the strong approval ratings built up from her globe-trotting, above-the-fray role as secretary of state could suffer. If she allows the presidential talk to become too loud, she might get stuck with the inevitable nominee tag, making her vulnerable to a liberal upstart in a Democratic primary.

Yet if she avoids the limelight too much, she might create an opening for another Democrat to emerge or allow the steady criticism from Republicans for her tenure at State to sully her image.

Republicans are in the early stages of an effort to chip away at her record at the State Department. American Crossroads, the Republican group tied to strategist Karl Rove, released a web video in May that suggested Clinton was less than truthful in the Benghazi case, an episode they noted happened "all under Hillary Clinton's watch".

An independent review last year blamed the State Department for inadequate security but largely absolved Clinton of wrongdoing.

President Hillary

Separately, American Rising, a Republican super political action committee led by Matt Rhoades, who served as Republican Mitt Romney's campaign manager, created the Stop Hillary PAC and has been raising money off a potential Clinton campaign.

One email request, from Ted Harvey, a Colorado state senator and co-founder of the group, warned that "massive forces are aligning to begin a coronation of 'President Hillary.'"

Republicans say they would be remiss to give Clinton the time to quietly build a campaign behind-the-scenes without scrutinising her record.

"You have to play by the rules of the game. That's what was done to Mitt Romney and other candidates," said Danny Diaz, a former adviser to Romney's presidential campaign who is not involved with either group. "To operate under different sets of rules would be foolhardy."

Ready for Hillary, meanwhile, has no official ties to Clinton. But the group is encouraging her to run and laying the groundwork for a future campaign. Veterans of the Clinton White House like Craig T Smith and Harold Ickes are advising the group, which is building a network of supporters online and holding local rallies outside Clinton speeches.

Ickes and former Rep Ellen Tauscher organised three finance briefings for donors and potential donors in New York in late June and the group will release its first fund raising report later this month, providing an early glimpse of its resources.

Some donors have privately expressed concern with the focus on Clinton so early, even while other Democrats like Vice President Joe Biden and Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley are viewed as potential candidates. They said it could backfire and create an aura of inevitability for Clinton that hurt her last time. Smith said they were trying to address just the opposite.

"If it was inevitable there would be no need for us to do it at all," Smith said.

Yet some Democrats aren't sold on the proposition. While Smith said he would have received a "red light" if the Clintons didn't approve of the super PAC's role - he said he hasn't heard anything negative - their effort is just getting off the ground and viewed with hesitation by some donors.

Private citizen

"I'd be surprised if many national donors want to spend the cash on a new grass roots organising effort geared toward 2016 when we just raised $1bn to create the best ground campaign in history," said Wade Randlett, a major Obama donor based in California's Silicon Valley. He said the Obama campaign offshoot, Organizing for Action, has been able to keep party activists engaged.

Clinton's most ardent supporters, including her husband, caution that voters should not read too much into her activities. The former president said in May his wife was "having a little fun being a private citizen for the first time in 20 years" and said the constant speculation was "the worst expenditure of our time".

Still, Hillary Clinton has spent time making her positions known on issues dear to the Democratic base. Via her much-buzzed about Twitter handle, she issued joint statements with her husband on the Supreme Court's striking down of a key provision in the Voting Rights Act and its rulings in two cases pertaining to gay marriage.

While Republicans see Clinton as a major threat in 2016, Republican officials report there is little appetite among top party donors to commit resources to anti-Hillary efforts right now.

"There are more immediate targets," said Charlie Spies, who led fund raising efforts for a pro-Romney super PAC last year.

"The most important thing Republicans can be focused on right now is keeping control of the House of Representatives in 2014. Once that is accomplished we can turn our sights to taking over the White House in 2016."


- AP
Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  us
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 40% off fashion accessories

Save up to 40% on selected handbags, purses, watches, jewellery and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2000 on top electronics

Get every day mind bowing savings on top electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

As seen on TV - New book releases at only R199 each

Get mind blowing book savings on new titles. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to 50% on Women’s month treats!

Celebrate the awesome women in your life with awesome treats like beauty products, fashion accessories, bestselling books, electronics and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an emphasis on work. There may be some restrictions, or delays or extra responsibilities. It is all about rhythm and...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.