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New polls fuel speculation about Hillary Clinton in 2016

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Still, the combination of Clinton’s strong personal appeal and starpower, along with her still-active network of fundraisers and supporters, could easily clear the Democratic field.

As Washington remains mired in the slow-moving, eat-your-broccoli "fiscal cliff" negotiations, it's clear that speculation about Clinton’s future has become the capital’s most entertaining subplot.

She got a brief round of attention over the weekend for an instantly viral photo of her and actress Meryl Streep taking pictures of themselves together on Streep’s iPhone at the Kennedy Center Honors gala (ABC News called it the “picture of the night”). It was yet another item from the Hillary-Clinton-is-a-real-person file – for which the media seem to have an insatiable appetite – highlighting Clinton's fun side.

Even more buzzed-about was the slick video tribute shown at the Saban Forum, a Middle East conference. The film featured gushing praise for Clinton from current and former world leaders, from Benjamin Netanyahu to Tony Blair. As New Yorker editor David Remnick wrote, in a post titled “Hillary Clinton is running for president”: “The film was like an international endorsement four years in advance of the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary.”

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