Members of Team Clinton started talking about a 2016 presidential bid months before the former first lady left the State Department.
The night President Obama won his second term, Allida Black and Adam Parkhomenko, veterans of Clinton’s 2008 campaign for the White House, exchanged emails about plans to start Ready for Hillary — a super-PAC promoting another run for the White House.
It is claimed in a new book that Hillary Clinton’s top aide has already begun informal interviews to assemble a campaign staff ahead of a possible second bid for the White House in 2016.
While Mrs Clinton continues to insist she has not yet decided whether to run for president again, her inner circle is quietly moving behind the scenes to prepare for another campaign.
The new book HRC – named after Hillary Rodham Clinton’s initials – will add fuel to the already-raging speculation that the former secretary of state is planning a fresh presidential run.
It details how Cheryl Mills, Mrs Clinton’s former chief of staff, has already begun meetings with potential campaign managers to discuss how a 2016 campaign would be different from her failed 2008 bid.
“This is a campaign that is in full swing,” said Jonathan Allen, one of the book’s authors. “It’s more a question of whether she stops running than whether she starts running.”
Polls show Mrs Clinton in a position of unprecedented strength compared to her potential rivals, with two years still to go before the beginning of the Democratic primary election.
A Washington Post/ABC poll found she had the support 73 per cent of Democrats – 61 points ahead of Joe Biden, the vice president and a possible 2016 contender.
Her front-runner status prompted Time magazine to ask in a cover article: “Can Anyone Stop Hillary?”
HRC details how Bill and Hillary Clinton kept a detailed “hit-list” of the Democrats they felt betrayed them by supporting Barack Obama over her in 2008.
While Mrs Clinton went on to serve loyally in Mr Obama’s administration, her husband ruthlessly pursued the perceived traitors among Democratic members of Congress.
During the 2012 election he opposed one congressman who failed to support his wife four years earlier. The congressman lost his primary to a fellow Democrat, ultimately allowing the Republicans to take his seat.
“The message from the Clintons to the rest of the Democratic political world was clear: It’s better to be with us than against us,” according to the book.
Mrs Clinton’s staff are also planning a strategy about how best to deploy her husband on the campaign trail. While he was a major asset to Mr Obama’s re-election effort in 2012, he repeatedly courted controversy during her 2008 bid.
The former president took it on himself to rewrite a large section of Mrs Clinton’s 2008 speech, prompting frantic last-minute revisions as she reversed his changes.
The book reports a surprisingly affectionate relationship between Mrs Clinton and Mr Obama despite their 2008 rivalry.
After Mrs Clinton fell and suffered a concussion during a bout of stomach flu in late 2012, the president call to express his concern.
“I love her, love her,” Mr Obama said. “I love my friend.”
Their friendship was reportedly cemented during a 2009 climate change summit in Copenhagen, when the pair barged uninvited into a meeting of Chinese, South African, Brazilian and Indian leaders.
The pair are described as joking between themselves while a Chinese diplomat was “losing his s—” at their sudden interruption.
Mrs Clinton also offered private support as Mr Obama struggled to pass his controversial health care law in 2010, helping him face down restive members of his own cabinet.
When David Petraeus resigned as head of the CIA following an affair with his biographer, Mrs Clinton wrote to him to express her sympathy and joked “I have a little experience” with infidelity, referring to her own husband’s indiscretions.
Mr Petraeus, a decorated former general once talked about as a potential Republican presidential contender, in turn said she would be a “tremendous” president.