Hillary Clinton reportedly plans to announce her candidacy for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination in April. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday Clinton and her close advisers decided on the move to allay uncertainties and boost fundraising.
News of the pending announcement comes as stories surfaced about money the Clinton Foundation has accepted from foreign and corporate donors while she was secretary of state. The reports threaten to complicate Clinton's presumed plan to focus on her foreign policy credentials in any campaign.
Clinton had been expected to put off an announcement until summer, but donors had been holding back, thwarting fundraising efforts. A source told the Journal John Podesta played a big role in the decision. She is expected to skip the step of forming an exploratory committee.
Money appears to be the issue. Clinton is expected to raise more than $1 billion for her campaign, topping the $716 million the Center for Responsive Politics said was collected by President Obama in 2012.
Clinton, who is considered the frontrunner and faces little competition, had been reluctant to enter the fray so soon. Polls have shown her far ahead of her nearest rival, Vice President Joe Biden.
Clinton has been working with policy experts to craft a message and platform, and close adviser Huma Abedin has been meeting with supporters.
The Washington Post reported last week that during Clinton's tenure as secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation raked in millions of dollars from seven foreign governments, including one donation for earthquake relief in Haiti from Algeria that should have been cleared by the State Department first. The donation coincided with an Algerian effort to lobby the United States on human rights issues.
Other questionable monies came from Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Australia, Norway and the Dominican Republic.
The foundation, which has raised nearly $2 billion since its inception in 2001, defended some of the gifts as multiyear grants that were awarded before Hillary Clinton joined the Obama administration. The Post also reported foreign donations made up made up a third of gifts exceeding $1 million over time.