By Seema Mehta
10:00 AM EDT, September 19, 2013
Hillary Rodham Clinton will extend her November visit to the Los Angeles area by one day to accept an honor at USC.
On Nov. 9, the former secretary of State will be honored at the campus by the Mexican American Leadership Initiative, which aims to foster relations between the two nations. The night before, she will accept a previously announced award for her work on behalf of women and children at a gala for the International Medical Corps. It is expected to be attended by several hundred people who are donating as much as $100,000 each to the nonprofit.
The visit comes as Clinton plays coy about whether she will jump into the 2016 presidential contest. On Wednesday, nearly 2,000 people at the Chicago House's annual Speaker Series Luncheon applauded when she was asked if she planned to run for president. But Clinton offered no guidance about her future.
“It’s time to support the president,” the Illinois native said, according to the NBC affiliate in Chicago.
“It’s like when you’re at a party and you find somebody else more interesting,” the affiliate quoted her as saying, adding that “we can't afford to do that,” given the seriousness of the issues facing the nation. Clinton focused her remarks on violence in Chicago and the mass shooting earlier in the week at the Washington Navy Yard.
Since stepping down as secretary of State in February, Clinton has made paid speeches and received a host of awards. Now, however, she is dipping back into politics. This week, she and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, announced their support of Democratic nominee Bill de Blasio in the New York City mayoral contest. De Blasio managed Hillary Clinton's Senate campaign in 2000 and served in her husband’s administration.
Hillary Clinton is hosting a fundraiser at the end of the month and another in October for Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe, a longtime ally of the Clintons.
When Clinton returns to California in November for her fourth trip to the state in recent months, she is not expected to overtly engage in politics. But her possible run will loom in the background; both of the awards she will receive touch upon issues that will come into play if she runs for president -- her tenure at the State Department and her popularity among Latinos, who were among the groups that drove President Obama to victory in 2008 and 2012.
At the USC brunch, she will appear alongside Henry Cisneros, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary in her husband’s administration; Carlos Gutierrez, the secretary of Commerce in President George W. Bush’s administration; and Monica Lozano, the publisher of La Opinión.
At the first area event, in Beverly Hills, she will be feted at the Beverly Wilshire hotel by several Hollywood titans and major Democratic fundraisers, including Jeffrey Katzenberg, who is expected to be a key donor for an independent effort that hopes to boost Clinton’s bid for the White House.
Both groups are vital to Clinton’s 2016 prospects.
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