2016 Campaign Watch: Hillary Clinton

For the so-far non-candidate, it’s been a busy week.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

About the only professional definition Hillary Clinton owns up to right now is “former Secretary of State.” She doesn’t talk of or even hint at the 2016 presidential race. But Washington is a city of political watchers and speculators, and Clinton gave them a lot of fodder this week. On Tuesday she made her first speech since leaving the cabinet, with an appearance at the 2013 Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at the Kennedy Center. At the same time it was revealed that she will make her first paid speech on April 24 in Dallas to the National Multi Housing Council.

The Dallas appearance is interesting because on that same day, and in the same city, another “non-candidate,” former Florida governor Jeb Bush, is also making a speech—to the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth. The next day, Clinton and Bush will appear together at Southern Methodist University for the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, along with President Barack Obama and the former presidents Bush (W. and H.W.), Bill Clinton, and Jimmy Carter. In the realm of political speculation, a Clinton-Bush presidential contest is beguiling.

But that’s not all. On Thursday, Simon & Schuster announced Clinton had secured a deal for a book about her “key decisions and experiences” as Secretary of State. That’s the kind of weighty subject presidential candidates like to tackle in book form. No title yet and no word on her advance, but she was paid a reported $8 million for her last book, Living History.

And there’s more. The US Global Leadership Coalition, which is chaired by Colin Powell and includes former secretaries of State and Defense and members of Congress, Friday announced a new addition to its National Advisory Council. Who could that be? If you guessed Hillary Clinton, you would be correct.

Could the timing of events and announcements this week just be a lot of coincidences? From our experience, there are no coincidences in politics.