WASHINGTON, Apr 3 – Supporters of former secretary of state Hillary Clinton are laying the groundwork for a possible 2016 White House bid, officially launching a website Tuesday that features photos of the would-be candidate and plenty of praise.
The site — www.readyforhillary.com — belongs to the Ready for Hillary super PAC (political action committee), which aims to raise funds and rally enthusiasm for the former first lady should she decide to run.
“America is Ready for Hillary and we need your help to ensure that when she is ready to take up this challenge, we are on the ground ready to help her,” reads the site when viewers click on the difficult to miss “Contribute” tab.
The accolades for Clinton, who lost the Democratic nomination for president to Barack Obama in a hard-fought 2008 primary, don’t just come from US political figures.
“What makes Hillary, Hillary is strength, toughness (and a) very strong streak of principle. I just have an instinct that the best is yet to come,” former British prime minister Tony Blair is quoted as saying.
“Sex and the City” star Sarah Jessica Parker also weighs in: “She has so much to offer and is equipped to do it well, to be thoughtful, reasonable, strong, authoritative, empathetic.”
The PAC formed in January and is registered with the Federal Election Commission. Organizers claim it has an “average one thousand grassroots supporters joining our efforts every single day.”
The 2012 election saw the rise of super PACs, groups that used their ability to raise unlimited funds to unleash a flood of mostly negative ads.
Since leaving the State Department on February 1, Clinton herself has fueled speculation that she is readying for a return to politics.
In addition to launching her own website, she recently released a video message in which she announced her support for the politically sensitive issue of gay marriage.
And on Tuesday evening, she hit the speaking circuit with an appearance at an awards ceremony honoring accomplished women — and a trio of brothers — at Washington’s Kennedy Center.
ABC News reported on its website that, during the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards event, Clinton reflected on fighting for women’s rights during her time as first lady.
She went on to acknowledge Vice President Joe Biden, who also attended the evening and is seen by some as having presidential aspirations, saying they have worked together on many important issues.
“One that is particularly close to his heart is the fight against domestic violence, and I know what a personal victory it was for him to see the Violence Against Women Act reauthorized last month,” ABC quoted Clinton as saying.
Dubbed “the rock star diplomat,” Clinton has said she has no plans to re-enter politics and run in 2016, claiming she wants to rest after two decades in the public spotlight, catch up on reading and spend time with her family.
The new website, for one, features a disclaimer saying it was “not authorized by an any candidate or candidate’s committee.”
Still, while the next US presidential election is years away, polls show Clinton has a strong edge over other possible contenders.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll released last month, she would handily defeat any of three leading potential Republican candidates.