If she sticks to her schedule, by the end of October Hillary Clinton will have appeared at five separate events for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe over the course of a month, and former President Bill Clinton is not far behind her.
After four years of refraining from overtly political events in her role as secretary of state, Clinton is striding back into the electoral spotlight, and so far, she’s focusing her energy on McAuliffe, a former Democratic National Committee chairman who served as chairman of Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign, and of Hillary Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 White House bid.
Clinton kicked off fundraising efforts for her longtime pal Tuesday night in New York with a $25,000 per couple private reception, according to a report in Politico.
This Saturday, she plans to publicly endorse McAuliffe, who is running against Republican State Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, at a “Women for Terry” event followed by a fundraising reception the same night in the well-to-do enclave of McLean, Va.
And the former secretary of state is taking her fundraising prowess on the road: She caps off the month as the marquee name at a Hollywood luncheon on McAuliffe’s behalf hosted by media tycoon Haim Saban and wife Cheryl, on Oct. 30. According to the Los Angeles Times, which obtained a copy of the invitation, individual tickets cost $15,000 and for couples, $25,000. Director Steven Spielberg and DreamWorks Animation CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg are the co-hosts.
Both Saban and Spielberg were major fundraisers for Clinton in 2008.
And lending a hand to McAuliffe, who currently leads Cuccinelli in the polls, has become a family affair.
In July, Bill Clinton reportedly headlined a fundraiser for the Democratic gubernatorial hopeful in New York City. Earlier this week, Politico reported that Bill Clinton attended a fundraising event for McAuliffe in Florida and sent out a call for money through the DNC, writing “My close friend Terry McAuliffe is running for governor (he’ll be a great one!) against a guy who’s really out there.” And the former president is expected at yet another fundraising dinner for McAuliffe in Northern Virginia on Oct. 28.
Meanwhile his wife, who recently said in a speech that she would “begin to think seriously” about a presidential bid sometime next year, is being showered with accolades. Tuesday — the same night she attended a fundraiser for McAuliffe — she was given the Founder’s Award from Elton John’s HIV/AIDS foundation at the entertainer’s annual gala.
Her trophy shelf must be getting crowded. As the Washington Post noted, in recent months she has also scooped up accolades from the American Bar Association, the National Constitution Center and from Queen Elizabeth II.
Even mega-celebrities such as Elton John are acknowledging Clinton’s star power. As John told reporters on his gala’s red carpet, “It’s a huge honor just to even honor her.”