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Hillary Building Ties With Julian Castro

The Washington Post reports Hillary and Bill Clinton have been cozying up with former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, giving rise to speculation she might tab him as her running mate.

Castro has been a nationally rising star since the 2012 Democratic Convention. (I wrote at the time, "Michelle Obama was good, but hands down, the star of the night was Julian Castro.) In May, Obama nominated him as Secretary of HUD. He will be sworn in on Monday. His twin brother Joaquin is a Texas congressman.

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Hillary Clinton Still Undecided About Running

Hillary Clinton told Jimmy Kimmel Saturday at a Global Initiative event in Arizona that she is still undecided about running for President.

" I’m obviously thinking about all kinds of decisions."

The "selfie" with Bill, Hillary, Chelsea and Jimmy is very cute.

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A Group of Hillary's Advisers Are Ready, But is Hillary?

Politico today has an article, Hillary Clinton's Shadow Campaign, about a group of her supporters gearing up for 2016.

More than two dozen people in her orbit interviewed for this article described a virtual campaign in waiting — a term that itself makes some of Clinton’s supporters bristle — consisting of longtime Clinton loyalists as well as people who worked doggedly to elect her onetime rival Obama.

It says there's a group of insiders and ones not so close, and they don't always see eye to eye.

The article has some speculation about who might be at the helm of her 2016 campaign, and some details about the roles of Bill and Chelsea (who has hinted 2014 may be the year for a baby.)

In interviews for this article, just about every close Hillary Clinton ally, asked to describe who is at the top of her organizational chart, gives the same answer: Chelsea....But in terms of 2016, people close to the Clintons say it is difficult to divine whether Chelsea wants her mother to run.

The bottom line is that no one knows whether Hillary will run. I'm sure it's tempting, but I tend to think she won't run.

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NY Magazine: Decoding Hillary

New York Magazine has a 7 page interview with Hillary Clinton. The magazine attempts to decode her ambiguous answers on whether she will run for President.

I’m both pragmatic and realistic. I think I have a pretty good idea of the political and governmental challenges that are facing our leaders, and I’ll do whatever I can from whatever position I find myself in to advocate for the values and the policies I think are right for the country,” she said. “I will just continue to weigh what the factors are that would influence me making a decision one way or the other,” she added.

But many Clinton friends and confidants interviewed for the article agreed that the former first lady would ultimately run.

In the interview, she describes what she and husband Bill do for fun: [More...]

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Hillary Clinton Released From Hospital, Full Recovery Expected

Good news. Hillary Clinton has been discharged from the hospital. A full recovery is expected.

Secretary Clinton was discharged from the hospital this evening. Her medical team advised her that she is making good progress on all fronts, and they are confident she will make a full recovery," Philippe Reines, a deputy assistant secretary of state, said in a statement.

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Orrin Hatch Stirs Up Rumor Pot on Stevens' Successor

Leave it to Sen. Orrin Hatch to stir up rumors and serve up distraction, this time, with comments about whether Obama would nominate Hillary Clinton for the Supreme Court. Hatch says it's possible.

Stay focused, people. It's not going to happen.

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Hillary Arrives in Haiti

Hillary Clinton has arrived in Haiti. It's not clear if she's going to speak right away. More here.

20,000 bodies have been recovered so far, according to the Haitian Government. The medical situation remains dismal.

Update: MSNBC says she will be speaking at the airport (where she will be for four hours) and it will air her remarks live. Her plane brought supplies and will bring about 50 Americans home. She is the most senior U.S. official to visit Haiti since the earthquake.

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Sending Good Thoughts To Hillary Clinton

Hillary fell and broke her elbow and will have surgery next week. Let's send some good thoughts her way.

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Hillary Clinton, the Drug War and Drug Treatment

Kudos to Hillary Clinton for acknowledging that "our insatiable demand for illegal drugs fuels the drug trade."

That's exactly right and it's way past time for the U.S. to make a serious effort to curb that demand instead of spending billions on incarcerating drug offenders.

Pew's recent study--"One in 31: The Long Reach of American Corrections"--provides a vivid picture of just how little we do to curb demand for drugs. [More...]

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Hillary in Indonesia Explains Why She Took SOS Job

During her tour of Indonesia yesterday, Hillary Clinton told the Indonesians why she accepted the Secretary of State's job:

It was not anything I had any reason to expect or had even thought about,” Mrs. Clinton said of President Obama’s offer to her to be the nation’s chief diplomat. “I had to make a hard decision.”

Mrs. Clinton said she put aside the disappointment of the election to take Mr. Obama’s job offer because, she said, “We have so many of the same views of what we should do in the world.”

Asked who her favorite musical groups are, she quickly answered the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. I know another of her favorite groups is Jon Bon Jovi. I'm sure it was a great trip, and had I known in advance where she was headed, I would have sent her a message asking her to make one more stop on her trip.[More...]

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Hillary Gets Warm Welcome at State Department

Hillary Clinton went to her new office today and met with State Department employees. She received a warm welcome.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received a rousing welcome this morning when she arrived at Foggy Bottom for the first time, as cheering foreign service and civil service employee packed every inch of the C Street lobby, including the balcony overlooking the flags of foreign nations.

TPM's video here shows the throngs who assembled to greet her. President Obama and VP Biden will visit there this afternoon. [More...]

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The State Department's Website Under Hillary

Check out the new State Department Website. It has Hillary's theme, Diplomacy in Action and a transcript of her confirmation hearing testimony.

There's a blog, DipNote. Look for other features to go live after she's confirmed. [More...]

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Hillary's Confirmation Hearing Tuesday

Bumped - BTD

Update (TL) 8:47 am MT: Hillary just finished her statement. The Q and A is beginning.

The hearing on the confirmation of Sen. Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is tomorrow before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It's expected to be a one day hearing with a vote on Thursday.

By nearly all accounts, Hillary Clinton is on a fast track to confirmation for the premiere position in the cabinet of President-elect Barack Obama. Not only has committee chairman Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) scheduled a vote on her confirmation for Thursday, but its top Republican, Dick Lugar of Indiana, said he would vote for her before she was even officially nominated....After meeting with her last week, Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) called her nomination "a net plus for the administration and the country."

Go Hillary. This is a no-brainer. We're fortunate Obama chose her. Here's to a speedy confirmation.

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Bon Jovi To Help Hillary Reduce Campaign Debt

Time is running out to help Hillary Clinton retire her campaign debt. Once she becomes Secretary of State, she can no longer solicit contributions. Bon Jovi is coming to her aid.

The final note of Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign may very well be sung by Jon Bon Jovi. The musician is performing at a fundraiser for the former presidential candidate as she tries to close out her campaign debt, which stood at $6.3 million as of last month.

The Jan. 15 performance at Manhattan's Town Hall is being billed as "a final evening in support of Hillary Clinton for President Debt Relief." Ticket prices range from $75 to $1,000.

I hope they stream it live in exchange for contributions from viewers. I'd pay to watch. As I've said before, he's got one of the best faces in rock, I could watch it for hours. And if it would help Hillary, all the better.

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Planned Parenthood Welcomes Hillary's Nomination for SOS

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards lauds President-elect Obama's announcement naming Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State:

Senator Clinton understands that women's quality of life directly affects the major issues confronting the globe: national security, environmental sustainability, and global poverty.

In a speech that, by the standards of the Bush administration, sounds positively radical, Clinton addressed the Cairo Plus Five Forum at the Hague in 1999, saying,

"Women's reproductive health and empowerment are critical to a nation's sustainability and growth ... we now know that no nation can hope to succeed in the global economy of the 21st century if half of its people lack the opportunity and the right to make the most of their God-given potential. No nation can move forward when its women and children are trapped in endless cycles of poverty; when they have inadequate health care, poor access to family planning, limited education."

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