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Hillary Clinton tight-lipped on 2016 campaign

Hillary Clinton was beaten in the 2008 race by Barack Obama. Picture: AP

Hillary Clinton was beaten in the 2008 race by Barack Obama. Picture: AP

  • by DANIEL BATES IN NEW YORK
 

Hillary Clinton has already begun her 2016 presidential bid, having launched a shadow campaign that has begun recruiting supporters from her failed run for the Oval Office in 2008.

American reports over the weekend claimed that she has set up a virtual campaign-team-in-waiting, manned by veteran organisers and advisers.

Among them is Hollywood mogul Jeffrey Katzenberg and Jim Messina, a top White House aide who has access to wealthy donors and influencers.

Bumper stickers have even been produced bearing the slogan: “Ready For Hillary.”

Officially Mrs Clinton has said she will decide at some point this year if she will run in the 2016 race.

She quit as Secretary of State last year and is enjoying her first time out of the public spotlight for two decades.

According to reports in Politico and Time magazines, Mrs Clinton’s 2008 campaign has rented out its e-mail list to a new support group which is laying the groundwork for her run.

The move would enable the so-called Super PAC – Political Action Committee – called Ready For Hillary to contact former supporters and urge them to turn out again for her.

Ready for Hillary is also building up a vast 50-state direct e-mail and voter targeting programme and has hired Mr Obama’s campaign gurus, Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird.

A separate group called Emily’s List, which aims to help elect women Democrats to all levels of government, is conducting polling about attitudes towards female candidates on her behalf.

One of Mrs Clinton’s organisers told Politico: “This effort for Hillary, unprecedented in both its early timing and scope, is a demonstration of the extent to which the Democratic Party is unified behind this potential candidacy.”

Mrs Clinton remains among the most popular politicians in America – a poll in October found that 55 per cent of voters viewed her favourably.

Voters do not seemed turned off by another Clinton potentially being in the Oval Office after her husband, Bill, served two terms as president between 1993 and 2001.

Analysts have said Mrs Clinton could be aiming to avoid declaring herself a candidate for as long as possible, to avoid the scrutiny that comes once a formal announcement is made.

She will also probably avoid the errors she made during her 2008 campaign, such as not using social media as widely as she could have done.

The only official campaign-style meeting so far reportedly happened last summer at Mrs Clinton’s home in Washington DC, when three officials from Democratic consulting firm Dewey Square Group gave her a presentation. According to those who attended, Mrs Clinton listened attentively, said little and did not make any commitments during the hour-long event.

Elsewhere, Liz Cheney, the daughter of former US vice-­president Dick Cheney, has called off her controversial bid to run for the Senate.

Ms Cheney said in a statement yesterday that “serious health issues” in her family meant she was quitting the race in Wyoming, which she only entered last summer.

US reports said that one of her three daughters was unwell.

Ms Cheney’s campaign had split the Republican party, which balked at her trying to unseat the three-term GOP incumbent Mike Enzi in November’s election, who did not want to step down.

Ms Cheney had moved her five children to the state in a bid to win over voters, while her husband, Philip, a lawyer, remained in McLean, Virginia.

 

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