Many analysts insist that Hillary Rodham Clinton intends to run for president, and already has adopted the political postures of a serious candidate. Some of her fans say it’s premature, and possibly unwise. But nothing is ever too early for fans of the former first lady, senator, presidential hopeful and secretary of state, apparently. Ready for Hillary — a grass-roots group and political action committee founded in January by former Clinton fundraisers — already claims 500,000 members, a donor base of 10,000 and contributions topping $1.25 million. The group is selling campaign buttons and wearables. Emily’s List, a PAC that supports progressive candidates, also has inaugurated a series of public events titled “Madam President.”
Well, that’s all nice, but inconsequential at the moment. What is not inconsequential is Mrs. Clinton’s methodical, carefully planned trajectory onto the public radar through a series of policy speeches and town hall meetings that began with an appearance before the American Bar Association one week ago that drew much media coverage, and revealed future plans.
“Next month at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, I will talk about the balance and transparency necessary in our national security policies, as we move beyond a decade of wars to face new threats. And later in the fall, I will address the implications of these issues for America’s global leadership and our moral standing around the world,” Mrs. Clinton told her audience.
Also in the works, and one that the aforementioned Mr. Preibus can do nothing about: a memoir written with the help of Ted Widmer — a Center for American Progress scholar, historian and foreign policy speechwriter and adviser to President Bill Clinton — to be released by Simon and Schuster on June 1, 2014. The memoir is yet to be titled, but the publisher is already taking preorders.
THE CLINTON CAMELOT
We should recall that Bill Clinton greatly admired John F. Kennedy, though Mr. Clinton did not get to construct much of a Kennedy-style “Camelot” atmosphere during his two terms in office. Will he get a chance to work on a Clinton-style Camelot should his spouse win the White House in 2016 and he becomes, egad, the first gentleman?
The hallmarks of a Clinton dynasty are already in place. The William J. Clinton Foundation, in fact, was quietly renamed the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. But wait. The famous family unit can be close, but not too close. Mrs. Clinton must be prudent, advised former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs.
“She also has to distinguish herself from her husband. If her campaign becomes an extension of either her husband’s term, or the current president’s term, it’s not necessarily a good deal for her,” he said during an appearance on NBC News.
Mr. Clinton has done some distinguishing of his own, however. In the wake of a negative New York Times report on the financial status and management of the Clinton Foundation, he issued a point-by-point deconstruction of the newspaper’s claims in a public letter, particularly citing complex tax forms that “will often indicate that we have more or less money than is actually in our accounts.”
Mr. Clinton appears willing to push back, and to fight for a Clinton Camelot, or reasonable facsimile therein. See the lengthy letter here: Clintonfoundation.org
POLL DU JOUR
• 76 percent of U.S. parents give a positive review of the school their child attends.
• 61 percent of parents say the education their child gets is better than the one they received.
• 55 percent say local public schools do a good job preparing children to be good citizens.
• 45 percent say public schools do a good job preparing students for the workforce.