Hillary Clinton prepares for intimate campaign

HILLARY Clinton is expected to launch her campaign for US president sometime in the next two weeks and will initially focus on intimate events, rather than soaring speeches to big rallies.

Hillary Rodham Clinton and New York City first lady Chirlane McCray at an early childhood development centre in New York. Picture: Getty

The goal, according to two people close to the Clinton organisation, is to make Clinton’s second run for the White House more about voters and less about herself.

While it appears at this moment Clinton will not face a tough primary challenge in 2016, she is aiming to show voters she plans to earn their support and won’t take the Democratic Party’s nomination for granted.

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Clinton, who served as President Barack Obama’s first secretary of state, has quickly emerged as the favorite for her party’s nomination.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama campaigning against each other in 2008. Picture: Getty

The field is more open on the Republican side, though former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker have gained momentum as they take key steps toward launching campaigns. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who became the first major Republican to enter the race, is expected to face an uphill battle for the nomination, as is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is expected to announce his candidacy Tuesday.

Clinton’s strategy is also aimed at playing to what her allies see as her strengths. Friends and advisers have long said she is more at ease in small group settings and one-on-one conversations where she can display her policy expertise, as well as personal warmth that she sometimes struggles to convey in front of larger crowds.

When Clinton ran for Senate in 2000, she kicked off her campaign with a listening tour across New York state.

Clinton’s approach also comes with risks. More loosely scripted appearances increase the chances that Clinton could be drawn off message or make a misstep that causes a distraction for the campaign. Clinton has been off the campaign trail for years, and she seemed rusty in fielding questions during interviews on a book tour last year.

The former first lady’s first White House bid ended with a loss to Obama for the 2008 Democratic nomination.

The exact date of Clinton’s launch is a closely guarded secret, but the announcement is expected by mid-April.

Clinton may make the official announcement with an online video or social media post, though those plans are still being finalised. She is expected to quickly hit the campaign trail, with stops in Iowa and New Hampshire, which kick off the state-by-state primary nomination process.

Those familiar with the campaign plans insisted on anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the details on the record.