Political watchers see Hillary Rodham Clinton's return to the public arena Tuesday evening — and to a very large Kennedy Center stage, at that — as a strategic stepping stone to the White House in 2016.
The event at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts was a nonpartisan awards presentation for a women's group co-founded by Ms. Clinton, the Los Angeles Times reported. But this is the first public speech from Mrs. Clinton since her exit from the State Department's office a couple months back — and it comes on the heels of announcing support for same-sex marriage and on the securing of a book deal about her role as secretary of State.
Both those issues were seen as steps toward higher political office: Strategists think the same-sex marriage announcement puts her in line with other possible Democratic Party candidates for the White House in 2016. And writing a book gives her a chance to control the vetting of her past well in advance of campaign season.
On top of that, Mrs. Clinton has another high-profile public appearance scheduled for this week, the L.A. Times says. On Friday, she heads to New York for the Women in the World Summit.
Tuesday evening, Mrs. Clinton was joined on stage by Vice President Joseph R. Biden.
"There's no woman like Hillary Clinton, and that's a fact," he told the crowd, as quoted in the L.A. Times.
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