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Hillary Watch: Her Book, the Mark Penn Test, and James Carville Signs On Hillary Watch: Her Book, the Mark Penn Test, and James Carville Signs ...

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Hillary Watch: Her Book, the Mark Penn Test, and James Carville Signs On


(AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

It may still be only 2013, but Hillary Rodham Clinton's last week has plenty of people thinking more about 2016. Here's the latest on what might or might not be the start of a presidential campaign.

The Associated Press reports that Clinton’s book about her time as secretary of State will be out in June 2014, conveniently putting her on the road for a book tour right when Democratic congressional and gubernatorial candidates all over the country would welcome her help. The book is not expected to address Clinton-Obama tensions during the 2008 campaign, or Clinton’s plans for 2016.


James Carville signed on to help Ready for Hillary, a super PAC trying to persuade Clinton to run for president. The Cajun strategist has been close to the Clintons for decades. He’s famous for (with Paul Begala) running Bill Clinton’s winning 1992 campaign, coming up with “It’s the economy, stupid,” and marrying his polar political opposite, Republican strategist Mary Matalin. In a go-team e-mail on Thursday to the group's distribution list, he wrote: "It isn’t worth squat to have the fastest car at the racetrack if there ain’t any gas in the tank—and that’s why the work that Ready for Hillary PAC is doing is absolutely critical."

Clinton is speaking at a Women in the World summit on Friday morning in New York City. The event at Lincoln Center is a high-powered extravaganza sponsored by Tina Brown and Newsweek-Daily Beast. Clinton is on the program with Meryl Streep, Diane von Furstenberg, Angelina Jolie, and many other celebrities, as well as women doing important work in Afghanistan and other nations. This follows Clinton’s Tuesday-night speech at the Kennedy Center for an awards event presented by Vital Voices Global Partnership. The group finds and trains emerging women leaders and “social entrepreneurs” around the world.

Alex Pareene of Salon proposes “the Mark Penn test” to determine if Clinton learned anything from her failed 2008 campaign. He says Penn has been proven wrong about almost everything, and any candidate who pays him for campaign work should not be trusted with the presidency. Clinton owed Penn $5.4 million after her 2008 campaign and finally paid it off on the last day of 2012. Under Penn’s leadership, among other things, the Clinton campaign skipped investments in caucus states. They tend to be small and vote GOP in general elections, but the caucuses are where President Obama piled up the delegates that kept him competitive for the nomination he eventually won.

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