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Clinton kicking off high-profile book tour
Clinton to open high-profile book tour touting her State Department years
By KEN THOMAS
Associated Press
2014-06-09 04:22 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton is embarking on a book tour this week that will feature overtones of a potential campaign to run for U.S. president in 2016 and could offer a window into the former Secretary of State's stamina.

Clinton's memoir, "Hard Choices," will be released on Tuesday, accompanied by interviews with ABC News and other U.S. news organizations. Clinton will appear at book events this week in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and suburban Washington, D.C.

The former first lady remains the leading White House contender for the Democratic party if she chooses to run for president again and representatives from the Republican party have aggressively challenged her record at the State Department in anticipation of another campaign.

In her new book, Clinton presents her four years as President Barack Obama's top diplomat as a period of tough decision-making that sought to repair relationships around the globe and reshape American foreign policy.

Clinton's words have been carefully parsed for clues to her thinking about 2016. In an excerpt of an interview with ABC News that aired Sunday, the former first lady said she looks forward to traveling the country to promote the book and would "help in the midterm elections in the fall and then take a deep breath and kind of go through my pluses and minuses."

She suggested her timetable could stretch into 2015, and said she would decide on running "when it feels right for me to decide."

But she also told ABC's Diane Sawyer that potential Democratic primary rivals were free to "do whatever they choose to do" and recalled that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, didn't launch his first presidential campaign until the fall of 1991. Some Democrats worry that by freezing the field, she could leave other Democrats at a disadvantage if she decides not to run.

Republicans have said the 66-year-old Clinton's health could be a relevant issue after she dealt with a concussion and was treated for a blood clot at the end of 2012. Clinton has said in interviews that she is in good health and noted that Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, a potential Republican candidate, told her about his own experience with concussions. She told ABC News she would release her medical records in accordance with past presidential candidates.

For Clinton, the book tour could shine a light on her health and endurance. The events will put her in front of large crowds and long lines of book buyers eager for an autographed copy. The schedule resembles the frenetic nature of a campaign.

Passages of the book offer hints of Clinton's political future and the tour could signal how she might frame a campaign.

While her book takes readers through international hotspots, her epilogue delves heavy on domestic politics and concerns about the decline in middle-class income, the growth of poverty and the need for "more opportunity and less inequality."

Republicans are creating their own book launch. America Rising, a Republican political action committee that has offered a steady critique of Clinton's policies, released an e-book called, "Failed Choices." It argues Clinton's record was flawed by "caution that comes from a calculating politician" and "poor judgment."

Among Republicans, the leading example remains Clinton's handling of the deadly 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.

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Follow Ken Thomas on Twitter at http://twitter.com/AP_Ken_Thomas

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