Clinton family foundation primed in case of 2016 run

Former US President Bill Clinton (L), Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) and daughter Chelsea Clinton attend the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) September 24, 2013 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Mehdi Taamallah (Photo credit should read MEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images) MEHDI TAAMALLAH/AFP/Getty Images

Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton have reportedly raked in $200 million since last summer for their family's namesake foundation, priming it to comfortably subsist should the dynasty matriarch opt to mount a 2016 presidential bid, Bloomberg News reports.

Though Hillary Clinton has remained intransigently cagey about whether she'll seize on her status as the early Democratic frontrunner, the report is just the latest context clue bolstering years-long speculation that she will.

Also indicative: With just one-fifth of their $250 million goal left to raise, the Clintons announced that they'll begin entreating small donors - a tactical shift from their previous large-donor focus that could aggregate an invaluable fundraising list for 2016.

The former first family's scramble to beef up an endowment for the Clinton Foundation ahead of a White House run also suggests they harbor high expectations for Hillary Clinton's prowess in the relatively new arena of super political action committees. Legal structures designed to raise and spend unlimited mounts of campaign cash, super PACs are a new development since her 2008 presidential bid.

"Historically, many of the people who could give to a Clinton Foundation would have maxed out to the Clinton campaign," Craig Holman, government affairs lobbyist for the watchdog group Public Citizen, told Bloomberg News. "Now they can throw all that money at the candidate herself."

Earlier this week, the "Ready for Hillary" Super PAC undraped "The Hillary Bus," which the group said "will travel from coast to coast, channeling the enthusiasm around a potential Hillary 2016 candidacy to activate supporters in the 2014 midterms, while further building a grassroots army of supporters who are encouraging her to run and ready to help her win."

The former secretary of state next week will embark on a nationwide tour to promote her long-awaited memoir, "Hard Choices."

She's not the only Clinton keeping active in the public eye: Her daughter Chelsea on Thursday spoke at two events, the first in Gettysburg, Penn., to encourage service among young people and the second to talk leadership at the University of Maryland. She opened up about inflammatory remarks conservative shock jock Rush Limbaugh made about her during Bill Clinton's tenure in the White House.

"I'm a believer in a thick skin as a survival tactic," Chelsea Clinton said during her speech Thursday to the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders. "I have the indubious honor of being compared to a dog as a 13-year-old by Rush Limbaugh. That was not about me, that was about him."

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