HILLARY Clinton is expected to announce her run for the US presidency today, marking the end of months of speculation and the start of her long campaign.
The former Secretary of State and former First Lady will enter the fray as Democrat front runner for the 2016 poll, with many feeling it is her election to lose.
Clinton is expected to shun a big rally and will instead release a message on Twitter followed by campaign stops in key battleground states such as Iowa.
Should she succeed the incumbent Barack Obama, she will become the first woman to be President of the United States.
But it will also be the high point in the life of a fiercely bright Yale Law School graduate who worked on the Watergate impeachment committee in 1974 but sacrificed her own career for her husband Bill.
Clinton is keen to avoid the mis-steps of her 2008 run for the Presidency which she lost to Obama.
On this occasion she has had time to plan and build up 3.6 million supporters in her political action committee, which some claim could help her raise up to $2 billion.
Such fundraising will “dwarf anything seen in the history of presidential politics”, said Daily Beast writer David Freedlander, who said the volume of cash will be “insane”.
A Clinton aide said: “They are going to raise in one week what some Republican presidential candidates are going to raise in the entire cycle”.
The key is to avoid the coronation-like feel of her 2008 announcement – this time they don’t want to get cocky. Last time it was the perky “I’m in it to win it’.
This time it will be humble Hillary, and her campaign will stop at smaller venues where she will meet voters face to face.
Her campaign HQ is in Brooklyn, New York and she has hired a 35-year-old political whizz to run her campaign.
A future Clinton staffer told Politico: “We just wanted to get this thing over with and get on with it.”
Clinton has recently slumped in the polls and, according to a survey by US TV network ABC, when she left office as Secretary of State in 2013 her favourability rating stood at 67 per cent.
It now stands at 49 per cent following the scandal over her use of a private server to store her emails whilst serving as Secretary of State.
Other polls have shown that voters feel experience counts both for and against her. On the one hand she has been in public life for 40 years and was one of the current President’s closest advisers.
Few know Washington the way she does and she is recognised and respected on the world stage.
But she is too close to Wall Street for some Democrats, too obsessed with secrecy for Republicans and, at 67, too old for some voters.
The scandal over the death of the US ambassador to Libya in 2012 while she was Secretary of State also left her politically wounded.
Then there is the Bill problem. A vocal minority of Americans just cannot bear to put him back in the White House after the Monica Lewinsky scandal and his own record in office.
Bill Clinton may also be problematic on the campaign trail, and a recent New York Times piece said Hillary might assign an aide to his side at all times in order to keep him in check.
During Hillary’s failed run for the presidency in 2008 against Obama, Bill Clinton was seen by some as hogging the spotlight and offended blacks with some off-the-cuff remarks.
Bill Clinton did not take kindly to the New York Times article and recently said that it was “creative writing” – Clinton speak for nonsense.
So far, Clinton stands unopposed within the Democrats.