Hillary Clinton, sending her most visible signal yet that she wants her voice heard ahead of a potential 2016 presidential bid, said she plans to deliver a series of speeches this year on various U.S. policy topics.

“Confidence in most of our important institutions has fallen to historic lows, even as our need for solid footing in a rapidly changing world has never been greater,” the former U.S. secretary of state said Monday in a speech to the American Bar Association in San Francisco. “Many Americans continue to lose faith and trust in the press, in banks, in sports heroes, and the clergy and just about every institution.”

The former senator from New York said she will deliver a address in Philadelphia next month on the balance and transparency needed in national security policies. Later this year, she is planning a speech on “America’s global leadership and our standing around the world.”

Clinton, 65, is casting a large shadow over the political field, even though she’s given no verbal suggestion that she plans to run for president a second time. The subjects of her speeches indicate that she plans to weigh in on the biggest division between the two parties and one likely to define the 2016 campaign — the role of the federal government at home and abroad. Republicans are being pressed by small-government tea party activists to reduce the reach of Washington, while Clinton is countering that stance.

The former first lady’s dominance in the pre-2016 maneuvering is so pervasive that she’ll also take center stage — although not literally — when the Republican National Committee gathers for a meeting in Boston starting Wednesday.

RNC members are expected to vote Aug. 16 on a resolution from Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus that would block presidential primary debate partnerships with NBC and CNN if the television networks don’t cancel planned Clinton documentaries that he calls free advertising for a prospective Democratic candidate.

Clinton is also upstaging Vice President Joe Biden, who is planning to speak next month at Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin’s annual steak fry in Iowa. The event, held in the state that traditionally hosts the first primary campaign voting, has often showcased candidates contemplating presidential bids.

Without lifting a finger, Clinton already has the backing of an experienced fundraising team, veteran voter-turnout specialists from a winning 2012 presidential campaign and donations of more than $1 million. Those encouraging her to run have created what amounts to the most robust campaign infrastructure yet among any Democrats considering a run for the White House in 2016.

On Clinton’s behalf, the Ready for Hillary super-political action committee is building a database of supporters and donors, lining up endorsements and signing experienced campaign hands. It also raised $1.25 million through the end of June, the majority of it in just one month.


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