Observer: Speaking circuit gold mine for Hillary Clinton, rivals

July 12, 2013 at 11:27 AM
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WASHINGTON, July 12 (UPI) -- Public speaking gives ex-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a chance to build her image and potential rivals a way to monitor her actions, observers said.

The speech-making circuit gives her a chance to show not only her personal side but also speak out on policy and topical issues, people who have attended Clinton speeches told The New York Times.

Clinton is considered a top contender to be the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, although she has consistently said she isn't interested in another presidential bid. She ran unsuccessfully against Barack Obama in 2008.

The speaking events provide her political rivals a chance to keep tabs on her, the Times reported Thursday.

"We're starting immediately to monitor both Hillary and the other Democratic rising stars and collect, tag and characterize their speeches so we can hold them accountable when the campaign begins in earnest," said Tim Miller, executive director of America Rising, a conservative political action committee.

Miller said that it was too early to dispatch operatives to buy tickets to Clinton's speeches. Instead, the group was watching from afar "to monitor whether she's hobnobbing with investment bankers in New York City that might seem like favoritism down the line."

The speaking circuit is a no-brainer as far as trying to build a political image,Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant who advised Al Gore and John Kerry in their presidential campaigns, told the Times.

"It's the perfect opportunity to deliver a message of your choosing to who you want, to reach a broad audience and to get paid for it," Devine said.

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