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2016 campaign checklist: Hillary Clinton



WASHINGTON (AP) - A look at Hillary Rodham Clinton's preparations for a potential 2016 presidential campaign:

Nondenial denial: "I haven't made up my mind. I really have not. I will look carefully at what I think I can do and make that decision sometime next year." - ABC, December 2013. "Give me your name and number.... Obviously, thinking about all kinds of decisions." - Coyly deflecting questions from a college student who asked her about running, March 22, Tempe, Ariz.

Book: Yes, again. Previously published author has "Hard Choices" scheduled for release June 10, about her years as secretary of state, with book tour likely to follow.

Visited Iowa: No. Steering clear of the early caucus/primary states. But Ready for Hillary, a super political action committee laying national groundwork for her potential candidacy, now is mobilizing for her in the state. The group dispatched 250 volunteers to Democratic county conventions to drum up support for her. (Third-place shocker in 2008 caucuses won by Obama portended scrappy nomination fight to come.)

Visited New Hampshire: No. But Ready for Hillary is already working for her there. The group courted New Hampshire local officials, union leaders and the state Democratic chairman in a January visit and returned in March for a series of meetings with state lawmakers and organizers. (She beat Obama in 2008 primary to regain traction in nomination contest.)

South Carolina: No. But things are stirring. At a May meeting in Columbia partly sponsored by Ready for Hillary, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine urged Democratic women to "think about pledging your support right now" to ensure she has "millions of us ready to take the field with her" if she runs. (Distant second to Obama in 2008 primary.)

Foreign travel: Do birds fly? Former secretary of state doesn't need to globe-trot any time soon. Spent 401 days overseas, flying nearly 1 million miles. Limited overseas travel in 2013: honorary degree at St. Andrews University in Scotland in September; trip to London in October for a diplomacy award and a fundraising concert for the family's foundation. Attended memorial services for Nelson Mandela in South Africa in December. Two recent speeches in Canada.

Meet the money: Can tap deep well of Democratic and activist money. She's been raising money for Clinton foundation. Supporters launched a super PAC, Ready for Hillary, to support another presidential run, raising more than $4 million in 2013 and $1.7 million in first three months of 2014. Priorities USA said in January 2014 it will back Clinton if she runs, a sign that senior members of President Barack Obama's campaign team are lining up behind her. Prominent bundlers such as Hollywood moguls Jeffrey Katzenberg and Haim Saban have signaled support. Clinton worked fundraising circuit to help Terry McAuliffe's campaign for governor in Virginia and Bill de Blasio's mayoral bid in New York City. Both won.

Networking: A steady presence now on the speaking circuit, delivering paid speeches to industry groups and conferences and appearing before a number of groups with ties to the Democratic coalition, including stops on college campuses in Miami, Los Angeles and Tempe. Accepted lifetime achievement award from American Jewish Congress in March. Crossed paths again with potential GOP rival Jeb Bush at education event in Texas in March, six months after he awarded her the Liberty Medal in Philadelphia in his capacity as chairman of the National Constitution Center.

Hog the TV: No. But late-night TV host Jimmy Kimmel interviewed her at Arizona State University in March, when she called for a mass movement against global warming. Largely avoided TV interviews in 2013, giving a few when she departed the State Department, then sitting down with ABC's Barbara Walters, who named her the "Most Fascinating Person of 2013" in December. She appeared jointly with Obama on CBS's "60 Minutes" early in 2013. NBC dropped a planned miniseries about her under pressure both from her allies and from Republicans.

Do something: For now, a record to be judged as secretary of state, senator and first lady. Through the Clinton Foundation, she has launched an initiative to help children's health and a separate partnership to promote women and girls.

Take a stand: You name it, she's had something to say about it in her varied political life. Post-Cabinet speeches have focused on the economy, housing, finance and opportunities for women. Obama objected to her proposed individual mandate for health insurance in 2008 campaign - a contentious idea then and now - only to adopt it in office. After Russia sent troops to Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, Clinton likened Russian President Vladimir Putin's actions to those of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s. She has said the health care overhaul should be implemented and improved.

Baggage: Age, Benghazi, and the politics of being a Clinton. She would be 69 on Inauguration Day in 2017. She lived through some grueling days as secretary of state. She counters with recollections of her energetic schedule as top diplomat. Republicans would love to pin blame on her for the 2012 deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya. She does just fine politically, until she gets political. Then her old enemies come out of the woodwork. In long-confidential documents released from Bill Clinton's administration, advisers urged her to "be real" and "humanize" herself, revealing concerns about her authenticity as a public figure.

Shadow campaign: Keeping a traditional shadow campaign at arm's length for now but she's got a steamroller behind her. Ready for Hillary super PAC has received endorsements from Democrats such as Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm; several old Clinton hands are advising the group, including Craig T. Smith and Harold Ickes. The group is encouraging Clinton to run and laying a foundation of grassroots supporters for a campaign if Clinton chooses to pursue one.

Social media: About 1.2 million followers on Twitter, her preferred social media outlet. In a tweet on Super Bowl Sunday, Clinton needled Fox News, the cable network that has often been critical of Democrats. "It's so much more fun to watch FOX when it's someone else being blitzed & sacked!" Clinton's quip was retweeted more than 57,000 times.

EDITOR'S NOTE _ 2014 is a year of auditioning, positioning, networking and just plain hard work for people who might run for president in 2016. There's plenty to do, and the pace has quickened since The Associated Press last took a broad look at preparations for a potential campaign. Here's a look at one prospective candidate.

Join the discussion

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Brian Workman May 05 2014 at 5:13 PM

When Hillary looses the Presidential Election, will she put a SPIN on the loss, to a class "B" video out of Iraq, and that Hillary is a victim of Benghazi!?

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Angelo May 05 2014 at 5:40 PM

electin Hillary proves only on thing,the american people are braineless and America will become a third world country

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3 replies
retired6999 May 05 2014 at 5:40 PM

WE don't need a woman as president and being in charge of are millitary.If a man is going to run he should have served in the military.

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felsen729 May 05 2014 at 5:42 PM

I hope she runs. I'll crawl naked across a mile of cactus to vote against her.

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1 reply
Bob felsen729 May 05 2014 at 5:56 PM

What has she accomplished as First Lady, US Senator or US Secretary of State besides being responsible for 4 murdered Americans and one was a US Ambassador.

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fsellitti May 05 2014 at 5:44 PM

I was always very proud of Hillary Clinton and would have voted for her even tho I am an Independent, but her Bengazi comment "What difference does it make?" just did her in as far as I am concerned. Had it been her son, would it make a difference? I suggest it would. Shame on you, Hillary Clinton.

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1 reply
demslosebig2014 fsellitti May 05 2014 at 5:48 PM

Proud of her for what?

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nanconn9 May 05 2014 at 5:44 PM

Well Hillary, you need a complete make-over before you even think of running.
However, we do not need another Clinton as president....Bill was a handful!
Why don't you get out of politics all together and do us a favor!

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patriot1too May 05 2014 at 5:50 PM

She is a feminist cult member, lieing, manipulative media hound who will do only one thing. Play the victim wannabe woman and have her ego stroked and butt kissed by the liberal media. Just like this obama mess has done with his race card playing nonsense and how the media has covered up his dirty tracks all along.. America does not need another failed social experiment to keep lowering the bar in America. The liberals have already turned America into a cess pool of moral decay. Its time we had a leader, not some fist bumping new age nit wit who does more damage then good. Go away Hillery Clinton. We can do better then you. God bless America.

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mercstorm May 05 2014 at 5:50 PM

God I hope not. Weve had enough morons in Washington for some years now. She lies about everything to cover her big ass. Her and Obama are snakes in the grass

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MISSY May 05 2014 at 5:51 PM

I would love to see the day when a woman is president, just not this woman. I'm getting sick and damn tired of elections and politics in general being a popularity contest. We need real leadership in this country and unfortunately neither party brings anything to the table. Hillary is drooling to get back into the White House for no other reason than to have that power and because she has the name she will probably win and this country will further be shoved towards extinction. Please America, don't do this to yourselves.

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The Bullseye! May 05 2014 at 5:55 PM

She is just too old to be president... this is a new nation with young people abound it's not your nation Hillary... it belongs to a new younger generation.

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1 reply
speedywac The Bullseye! May 06 2014 at 12:46 AM

Here are the ages of some of our Presidents when they were sworn in. And Hillary is too old? Ha
John Adams was 90
Thomas Jefferson was 83
James Madison was 85
James Monroe was 73
John Quincy Adams was 80
Andrew Jackson was 78
Martin Van Buren was 79
William Henry Harrison was 68
John Tyler was 71

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