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Hillary Clinton’s first campaign ad: Saban Forum video

By Laurie Bennett

December 3, 2012 at 10:35am

There can be no better political ad for a Hillary Rodham Clinton presidential run in 2016 than a farewell video aired over the weekend during the Saban Forum.

The salute features world leaders describing her as a person of firm convictions who gets the job done.

Then it lays the groundwork for a return performance.

First, from Republican Sen. John McCain: “She has taken her life experience in politics as a mother, as a senator, and put that all together in the pinnacle, up to now, of her public service, which has endeared her to millions and millions of people all over the world.”

Then from Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “As someone who knows a thing or two about political comebacks, I can tell you I don’t think we’ve heard the last of Hillary Clinton.”

And finally from former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair: “I just have an instinct the best is yet to come.”

The New Yorker’s David Remnick, who was there, reports that the talk after the video was about Clinton’s future. “There wasn’t much doubt about the ultimate direction,” he writes. “2007-8 was but a memory and 2016 was within sight. She’s running.”

Haim Saban
Haim Saban

It’s fitting that the tribute would air at the forum, which took place at Brookings’ Saban Center for Middle East Policy.

The center’s benefactor is billionaire Haim Saban, a bundler for Clinton’s presidential run in 2008 and a major donor to the Clinton Foundation.

His support in 2016, should Clinton decide to run, would not be without controversy.

Saban was named in press reports as having made kickback payments disguised as campaign donations in the New York pension fund pay-to-play scandals.

He has contributed millions of dollars to Democratic causes over the years, including $1 million this year to super PACs supporting President Obama and other Democratic candidates. In September, Obama named Saban’s wife, Cheryl Saban, to be U.S. representative to the United Nations General Assembly.

To see the video: We don’t yet find the tribute on YouTube. You can see it on the center’s web site, however. Select the second video on this page, and advance to 3:40.

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