Democratic Senator from New York launched a book this week, and it felt like she was launching a presidential campaign.
Off the Sidelines: Raise Your Voice, Change the World - Foreword by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
If the prominence of Hillary Clinton's name as author of the foreword somehow escaped you, here's how the email she sent to her mailing list promoting the book release opened.
In short: "Hillary's my personal hero, the woman who inspired me into public life, and the mentor I, ahem, succeeded into the Senate."
I'm posting this now to note for the record that everything about this book - the timing, the emphasis on Hillary Clinton, and its marketing campaign - is consistent with a plan for Clinton to announce early next year that no, she's not running for president, then pass her torch to Kirsten Gillibrand as her endorsed choice to replace her.
Why do I suspect this? First, consider the text of this message.
From my mother and grandmother to Hillary Clinton...
Fourteen years before...
I succeeded my mentor Hillary Rodham Clinton as senator from New York.
Understand that Clinton's people had to review and approve this language, all of which places Hillary Clinton in an earlier generation. The subtext is "Hillary's part of the past, and helped develop me into a leader for the present and the future."
This is not language someone who's planning to run for office would want to be used about her. In fact, if Hillary Clinton is actually planning to run, this language would be a gigantic knife in the back to her.
The email continues:
...to the halls of Congress and the White House itself.
Indeed. All the way to the White House.
And, of course, Gillibrand has launched an organization - Off the Sidelines - to follow through on empowering women to take a more active role in their nation's public life.
Mark it, note it, and move on. But check back with me early next year and let me know how well I read tea-leaves...