The Unofficial Guide(s) to Hillary Clinton

Unofficial tellings of Hillary Clinton's story are cropping up everywhere.

ByAbby D. Phillip
July 29, 2013, 12:55 PM
PHOTO: Hillary Clinton, speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative CGI America meeting in Chicago, Ill., June 13, 2013.
Hillary Clinton, speaks during the Clinton Global Initiative CGI America meeting in Chicago, Ill., June 13, 2013.
Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

July 29, 2013— -- Hillary Clinton is coming to a television, movie screen and an e-reader near you sooner than you think.

The unofficial Hillary Clinton industry is alive and kicking in pop culture and politics. And yes, it's still not 2016 yet.

Other than the mild admonishment from her husband former President Bill Clinton that everyone should focus less on an election three years away, there haven't been many complaints from Hillary world about the glut of attempts by outsiders to capitalize on the Clinton speculation.

Days after NBC announced it commissioned a four-hour miniseries starring Diane Lane on her life, it just so happened that Clinton's schedule put her—of all places—at the White House.

Forget that the former secretary of state might have a thing or two to say about Middle East peace (talks between Israel and Palestine restart this week), the focus was all on her undeclared candidacy.

But is Clinton overexposed? Depends on who you ask.

Sure, Clinton kept a low profile for the first few months after leaving the high-flying life of the nation's top diplomat.

But she has since unveiled a masterfully crafted schedule that has kept her in the public eye just enough to feed the persistent 2016 buzz.

These days, hardly a week goes by where a Clinton headline isn't made: launching her early childhood education initiative, commenting on the death of black Florida teen Trayvon Martin, or sharing a stage with fashion designer Oscar de la Renta.

And then there are the political forces.

The "Ready for Hillary" super PAC has been raising money and rallying supporters on her behalf for months, and they'll announce their first fundraising numbers this week.

Her political opponents have begun trying to figure out how to stop her with an upstart "Stop Hillary" super PAC.

And you only have to search Amazon to find more than half a dozen books that purport to give the inside story of part or all of Clinton's life. By the time 2016 rolls around, there will unlikely be many more.

Along with the Clinton mini-series, a Clinton movie, which has floated names like Scarlett Johansen and Reese Witherspoon, plans to drop just in time for 2016.

After over three decades in the public eye, Clinton knows a thing or two about how to manage the attention. Right alongside those unauthorized accounts of her life, are three of Clinton's own writings—and a fourth is on the way.

"It's hard to imagine Hillary Clinton being more exposed; that's been the way she's lived her life for decades," said one former advisor of Clinton's 2008 campaign. "Of course you don't want random b-list, c-list, home- grown things like this propping up if they're inaccurate, but Hillary Clinton as a brand has always been pretty accepting of other uses. I don't think that's something she's looked unkindly toward as long as it's accurate."

But her opponents are also taking advantage of any and every opportunity to put Clinton's name in unflattering headlines.

The latest: Anthony Weiner.

The specter of the Clinton family has helped elevate the frenzy surrounding disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner's misdeeds because of his wife Huma Abedin's personal and professional closeness to Clinton and Abedin's decision to stand by his side despite new revelations that Weiner didn't stop sending sex messages to women online after leaving Congress.

Citing New York State Democrats, the New York Post reported this morning that the Clintons were "livid" about the comparisons between Abedin's decision to defend her husband and Clinton.

Already, Republicans have seized on it as evidence that a Clinton candidacy is a risky proposition for Democrats.

"Therein lies the Democrats' problem. Therein lies Hillary Clinton's problem," wrote National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brad Dayspring in an email to reporters. "Their entire electoral strategy requires utilizing the 'War on Women' playbook, but every individual transgression is a reminder that most parents couldn't trust Bill Clinton — the most powerful Democratic fundraiser and surrogate-in-chief for 2014 — in a room alone with their 21-year-old daughter."

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