This Week in Hillary-World: Could the Big Announcement be Upon Us?

Each week, we explore Hillary Clinton's universe to provide a round-up of the week's most compelling news, while providing analysis on media commentary, punditry, polling and more. Yes, the election is still a bazillion years away, but when it comes to the story of the potential first female president ever, it's never too early to start the conversation.

Hillary Slates One-Hour Interview with Diane Sawyer. Could It Be . . . ?
For months, insiders have speculated that Hillary will announce her presidential run while promoting her upcoming book, Hard Choices. So you can imagine the fervor caused by Hillary's announcement that she will be sitting down with Diane Sawyer to discuss said book during a one-hour "World News" special on June 9. A lengthy interview on a high-profile television program, framed around a memoir designed to play up Hillary's diplomatic leadership?!

Let the breath-holding begin.

Two Big-Name Women Throw Their Support Behind Hills
Powerful political women are continuing to fall in line with Hillary. Earlier this week, Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow wrote a strongly worded CNN column in support of Hillary, using the unequivocal hook, "We need President Hillary Clinton" and calling her "practical and pragmatic."

Also on board? Former CIA operative Valerie Plame, who announced her renewed support for Hillary in 2016 (she also backed her in '08) alongside husband Joe Wilson, the former U.S. ambassador. Plame told ABC News she saw FDR qualities in Hillary, saying, "Even those that hate Hillary admit she is a work horse and not a show horse."

Interesting that both women—who certainly know a thing or two about ascending the Washington ranks as a female—chose to emphasize Hillary's cool pragmatism, a traditionally male quality. Perhaps they understand all-too-well what it will take to get her elected?

Update on Benghazi (Yes, It's Still Kicking)
A Republican investigation into Benghazi took a new twist this week, when Hillary's camp reportedly used back channel maneuvering to convince Dems to participate in the investigation . . . so as not to further provoke GOP ire. While Benghazi is often brushed off as a sideshow, this reveals how ominous it remains for the Clinton campaign. As Politico put it, "Clinton and her allies know from experience the kind of damage an emboldened Republican House committee can inflict." Stay tuned, as there will certainly be more on this morass.

Hills Nets $5 Million on the Speaking Circuit. It Is Cause for Concern?
In the last 15 months, Hillary has snagged a cool $5 million from speaking appearances. Of course, this could be seen as a necessary means to raise money and amp up clout pre (possible) presidential run, but it also raises a more troubling question: is she promising and providing any special access to the organizations and companies paying her big bucks to speak? It's a valid concern, especially considering she's been paid by some powerful financial institutions, including Goldman Sachs and the Carlyle Group, a major private equity firm. Read more about her circuit boondoggle here, and decide for yourself if it's reason to worry.

The Lowdown
Nothing too crazy this week, and no new polling bombshells either. (That said, the Sawyer interview alone is pretty significant news.) Could Hillary finally be announcing that she's running? Or will she coolly play coy yet again?

You can bet we'll be watching to find out. In the meantime, stay tuned for our next roundup.

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