I’ll give you a hint. She’s most likely the first lady to come to mind.
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to USC on Nov. 9 to accept the Hermandad Award from the Mexican-American Leadership Institute. I was fortunate enough to be in the audience for her acceptance speech and what I heard was her saying loud and clear, in translated, reading-between-the-lines-speak: “I’m running in 2016!”
But don’t take my word for it; judge for yourself:
“The strength of the United States, by having this broad diaspora of people from literally around the world, struck me as secretary as one of our greatest assets that we are undervaluing.”
How about this sound bite?
“Part of the obvious argument for immigration reform is that we are a country of immigrants and we should be celebrating that rather than fearing it,” she said.
And it doesn’t help that folks like Sen. Barbara Boxer let this slip to the Daily Trojan (emphasis mine):
“I’m always so impressed with her,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) told the Daily Trojan. “I think that [Hillary Clinton] is a woman with experience that no one else has: first lady of a state, first lady of a country, U.S. senator where I served with her and she was a great leader, and I believe our next president.”
And that Clinton received this glowing introduction from former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Henry G. Cisneros. If you didn’t know this was for an awards brunch, one could easily have mistaken this introduction for something at the Democratic National Convention:
“From time to time on the horizon of American history, there appears a leader whose depth of understanding, whose proven experience and whose untiring dedication makes that leader precisely the right person for the time. Such a person is Senator, first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and such a time is now.”
Here’s a little background on the Mexican-American Leadership Initiative from its website:
“The Mexican American Leadership Initiative (MALI) of The U.S.-Mexico Foundation was founded in 2010 and is based on the belief that Americans of Mexican heritage are in a unique position to engage with Mexico’s civil society. Americans of Mexican heritage have a particular role to play in encouraging broad support and engagement by U.S. society, leaders and institutions in partnering with Mexico at every level for the benefit of both countries.”
Reaching out to a target audience for a 2016 presidential run? Check. Clinton is speaking to a room full of Latinos, a fast-growing segment of the electorate, and waxing about how “the obvious argument for immigration reform is that we are a country of immigrants and we should be celebrating that rather than fearing it.” She sounds like a candidate introducing her policy for an issue.
Major power players and donors required to run a presidential campaign? Check. Of the folks in attendance, in addition to Boxer and Cisneros, at this awards brunch were several other political bigwigs, such as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs Roberta Jacobson, former Los Angeles Councilwoman Jan Perry, former Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Mayor of San Antonio Julián Castro and Monica Lozano, publisher and CEO of La Opinión.
Not to mention, this is all great PR for someone who needs to create greater rapport with the Latino community. News of Clinton’s appearance was reported in the Los Angeles Times, CNN, La Opinión, KPCC, FOX, CBS, The San Antonian and more.
Of course, anything she says these days can be construed as building up to a 2016 run. You can’t be Hillary Clinton and not make a speech that doesn’t sound like an ultra-PC overture to America. And lately, she’s been making plenty of those speeches as she coasts on her high approval ratings, accepts plenty of awards and travels the speech circuit. Her speech for the Hermandad Award could just be another blip on her post-Obama Administration life. I needed to put aside all the current media hype and find something more concrete than a circumstantial awards brunch speech.
So I did a little digging around the WHOIS records of Clinton’s domain names. If you visit HillaryClinton.com right now, it’s a simple website that lets you contact her office by linking you to another URL, HillaryClintonOffice.com. This second URL, the office one, was registered on Jan. 31, 2013 and is set to expire a year later in 2014, according to its WHOIS. That’s fine. Most domain registrations go for at least one year, so there’s nothing unusual here.
The main domain’s WHOIS, HillaryClinton.com, however, tells a more interesting story. It was created on April 21, 2005, probably in anticipation for her 2008 campaign. The last time the record was updated (which means the last time anyone did anything to the domain’s registration) was on Feb. 18, 2009, more than a month after Obama’s first inauguration. Since the last time it was updated, the domain has been set to expire on Oct. 22, 2016, which is less than a few weeks before Election Day 2016. What’s even more interesting is that the email provided for technical administration purposes belongs to digital campaign services agency Trilogy Interactive, whose clients include Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and — oh look, Hillary Clinton. But of course, if you try to click on Clinton’s name to access Trilogy’s case study for this campaign, the link leads nowhere, and this behavior only seems to apply to Clinton’s badge. If Trilogy worked on a past project for Clinton, why not open up the case study for it like it did for Warren and Gillibrand?*
What all this boils down to is that a digital campaign agency is managing Hillary Clinton’s main domain, which is set to expire a few weeks before Election Day 2016. My money’s on Clinton running for president in 2016, and I’ll be right here to celebrate when she announces her candidacy.