Hillary Clinton won’t say whether she will be running for president in 2016, but the large sums she is accumulating on the speechmaking circuit could help her build a competitive campaign chest if she does decide to run.
Since leaving her post as Secretary of State in February, Clinton, who has also served as a U.S. Senator, has jetted across the country delivering speeches for trade groups and conventions at $200,000 a pop, according to the New York Times
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Her earnings in the U.S. appear to be comparable to those of her husband Bill Clinton, though he also makes many speeches abroad. The couple together have earned more than $100 million since Bill Clinton left the White House in 2001, the Times reported.
Clinton carefully avoids speaking to politically controversial groups, but her speeches do deal with some hot-button issues. Talking about immigration, she told an audience at a recent convention gathering, “I hope it’s heading to a new law that will resolve a lot of these issues. It’s way overdue,” according to the Times.
At a conference for human resources managers, she said, “You know what it takes to provide workers the flexibility and benefits that they need to care for their children,” the Times reported.
There has been much speculation about a Clinton election bid in 2016. Recent polls show that 65 percent of Democrats say they would vote for her and in an election, and she could beat potential Republican candidates by 52 percent, according to Forbes
Conservative groups are tracking Clinton’s speechmaking activities, keeping an eye out for conflicts of interest that could be used against her.
“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,” Tim Miller, executive director of the conservative political action committee America Rising, told the Times.
In addition to her speaking fees, Clinton reportedly has a $14 million book contract for a memoir, Forbes said. Staffers are hard at work helping with research for the book, which is due out in the summer of 2014, the Times reported.
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