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Hillary Clinton's 'Shadow Campaign' Comes To San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) - Hillary Clinton appeared Monday at an American Bar Association convention in San Francisco Monday with every indication that a 2016 run for the White House is on the agenda.

The former U.S. Secretary of State spoke at the Association's annual meeting after receiving the group's highest award for service to the law. She used the occasion to Clinton kick off a series of speeches with a call to combat what she called an "assault on voting rights."

Clinton likely won't officially tip her hand for some time, but that isn't stopping speculation that she is building her brand for 2nd run. Just last week in Iowa, a new campaign called "Madam President" kicked into high gear – seeing to "put the first woman into the White House."

"We went to Iowa because Iowa is where the presidential conversation starts," Jess McIntosh of Emily's List, which is running the campaign.

To some, the campaigning on Clinton's behalf is already well underway.

"It's definitely a shadow campaign. (There is) no question about that," Stanford Political Scientist Bruce Cain said. "Everyone in the party presumes she'll run and be front-runner."

Clinton told those in attendance Monday that her upcoming speeches also would look at national security and the United States global leadership. But first she said she wanted to talk about deep flaws in the electoral system.

She said racial discrimination remains a serious problem and she again assailed a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a significant part of the Voting Rights Act.

According to an exclusive KPIX 5 Survey USA poll, Clinton already enjoys strong support in California compared to some potential competitors.

Vice President Joe Biden is heading to Iowa next month to attend an event frequented by past candidates. He has also hinted at another run for president. On the GOP side, Rick Santorum, Senator Ted Cruz and Donald Trump have also recently stopped in the Hawkeye State looking for political attention.

Hillary Clinton Receives American Bar Association's Highest Honor in SF

The American Bar Association medal has honored leaders in American jurisprudence since 1929.

ABA President Laurel Bellows said the medal recognizes exceptionally distinguished service.

Clinton began her legal career in 1969 and is credited with helping get equal access to education for children with disabilities as well as the advancement of women in the legal profession.

She expressed her gratitude for the honor.

"I am humbled by those who have received it in the past to join their company in some small measure to continue the work that the ABA has championed," she said.

Clinton received a standing ovation when she entered the meeting room and when she finished her remarks.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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