Clinton’s Hard Choices: The Making of a 2016 Brand

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves after she addressed the American Jewish Committee Global Forum 2014 on May 14, 2014 in Washington, DC.

Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leaves after she addressed the American Jewish Committee Global Forum 2014 on May 14, 2014 in Washington, DC.

To hear Hillary Clinton tell it, the really “hard choices” won’t be made until later this year, and are unlikely to be announced until early next year.

Yet the way many are reading the publicity surrounding the pre-publication of her “so aptly named” book on Tuesday – those are her words in a promotional interview with ABC News’ Diane Sawyer — the  hardest choice about running for president in 2016 already has been made and this new memoir is merely a studied primer.

The media really have had no choice but to play along with a staged pre-leaking of promotional excerpts and interviews. For its access to the former secretary of state, senator from New York and first lady, ABC News is delivering a prime-time report by Sawyer tonight at 9 pm EDT.

The branding of the phrase itself, “Hard Choices” has been underway for weeks.

President Barack Obama made “a very hard choice,” Clinton says of the Guantanamo prisoner swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl  in her ABC interview, which the network has been teasing ahead of the big show. And in other venues, Clinton has talked about this hard choice or that hard choice.

The roll-out includes the personal stuff.

She has “no lingering effects” from the blood clot discovered after her concussion. “Isn’t it great to be our age?” Clinton asks Sawyer in excerpts of their talk aired ahead of prime-time.

And it includes the political stuff.

“I’m going to decide when it feels right for me to decide,”
Clinton says, with a laugh, of the 2016 presidential campaign. “I will be on the way to making a decision by the end of the year, yes,” she notes. “Certainly not before then. .. I have to make the decision about what’s right for me and the country.”

First comes the book tour, starting with events in New York City, Chicago and Washington this week. Clinton says: “I just want to kind of get through this year, travel around the country, sign books, help in the midterm elections in the fall, and then take a deep breath and kind of go through my pluses and minuses about what I will – and will not – be thinking about as I make the decision.”

So an announcement waits until next year: “I’m not positive about that, but I think, you know, the way I make decisions,” she says, right.

Clinton already is the runaway front-runner in the literary primary, with more than 1.5 million copies of her previously published books sold.

The new book has been so widely previewed — including by people who haven’t read it (such as the morning panel on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” who discussed it in detail today while acknowledging they hadn’t seen it yet ) — that the release itself may be good for sales yet still feel like old news tomorrow.

When they get around to painting the inevitable campaign bus for Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, book-camp Clinton surely will be thinking of another brand.  In their view, it’s essentially this: Easy Choice.

Here is a brief look at the health question, followed by George Stephanopoulos’ Sunday tease to tonight’s full interview:

ABC US News | ABC International News

ABC US News | ABC International News

What do you think about this article? Comment below!