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POLITICS: PennAve

Six signs Hillary Clinton is running

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Politics,Hillary Clinton,Bill Clinton,2016 Elections,Campaigns,PennAve,Rebecca Berg,Super PACs,PoliticsToday

Hillary Clinton isn't officially running for president. But unofficially, the signs are everywhere.

Most Democrats expect the former secretary of state won't make a public decision before the midterm elections in November. But her actions so far this year have pretty much confirmed what most people already thought.

Here are six steps she's taken toward a presidential campaign:

The memoir.

A carefully crafted, inoffensive memoir is nearly a prerequisite to the modern presidential campaign, a convenient way for a candidate to tell her story on her own terms. Clinton released her memoir "Hard Choices" this summer, detailing her tenure as secretary of State, and outlining her policy perspectives on a wide range of foreign policy and national security issues. The book tour was not unlike a presidential campaign: Clinton crisscrossed the nation for book signings, speeches, and interviews, receiving outsized media attention all the while.

The super PACs.

Without money, there is no presidential bid — and Clinton will be able to count on plenty of the former. Two super PACs, although by law directly unaffiliated with Clinton herself, have already set to work raising money and building lists of volunteers to help Clinton hit the ground running if she decides to seek the presidency. The first, Priorities USA, which supported President Obama in 2008, has aligned itself early with Clinton and has brought on former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina to help attract the party's biggest donors. The second group, Ready For Hillary, has been methodically building a nationwide network of Clinton supporters and collecting mostly small-dollar donations.

The office upgrade.

Clinton recently relocated her personal office to a larger space in midtown Manhattan, an important step should she want to add to her existing staff in advance of a presidential bid. The office likely would not house her presidential campaign headquarters, but serve as a transitional space.

The trip to Iowa.

In 2008, Clinton posted a disappointing result in the key Iowa caucuses, where she finished third behind Obama and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. This time, she's launching her Iowa charm offensive early, with a trip to the Hawkeye State in September. Clinton will headline the annual Steak Fry of Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, an important political event, along with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The cautious remarks.

Clinton drew some criticism for taking more than a week to respond to the protests in Ferguson, Mo., but her caution was hardly surprising. Clinton appears to have made a deliberate calculation that any newsmaking statements that could later pop up in a campaign setting where views have changed. That's not to say Clinton hasn't taken some risks, however. In an interview with The Atlantic, Clinton attempted to distance herself from some of the president's foreign policy by calling his decision not to intervene early in Syria a "failure."

The celebrity endorsements.

Should she run for president, Clinton will likely have no trouble lining up celebrity surrogates on her behalf. In fact, they're lining up already. Singer Katy Perry snapped a photo with Clinton earlier this year, with the caption: "I told @hillaryclinton that I would write her a 'theme' song if she needs it..." Actresses Liv Tyler and Aubrey Plaza, among others, have also expressed their early support for Clinton.

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Author:

Rebecca Berg

Political Correspondent
The Washington Examiner

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