Publication / DecodeDC/ Scripps
June 6, 2014
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Hillary Clinton’s odd book tour choice looks like campaign practice

Former First Lady will tour DC-area Costco

WASHINGTON, D.C. – It’s a little hard to picture – Hillary Clinton in Costco.

But that’s where she’ll be June 14, hawking her book, “Hard Choices,” in the Arlington, Va., Costco beside discounted jeans, stacks of two-ply toilet paper, boxes of assorted Gatorades in every imaginable flavor and the tasty hotdogs the warehouse-style store is known for.

The former first lady, former senator and former secretary of state will be a long way from the White House, the halls of Congress and shaking hands with royalty.

Still, it will be an exclusive occasion for members of Costco and, odd juxtaposition though it might seem, Hillary has been there before. She did big-box store stops in 2003 to promote “Living History,” including one at the same Arlington store. Maybe she’s testing the waters for how big-box schmoozing will go before hitting Walmarts or Sam’s Clubs on the book tour.

And maybe, just maybe, she’s looking ahead to similar stops in 2016. There is a rumor, in case you haven’t heard, that Hillary might make a run for the White House. But so far, her book tour doesn’t include stops in Florida and Ohio. Or Iowa and New Hampshire.

There has been much speculation about where Clinton would stop on the “Hard Choices” tour. So far she’s played it safe, only scheduling visits to large cities with active book and media markets, such as San Francisco, New York, some in Canada, and the Arlington stop across the Potomac River from Washington.

Sure bookstores are disappearing and Costco has many, many loyal customers, but it’s tempting to consider that Hillary’s choice to stop at a big-box store to meet and greet with fans of her “book” might portend an ulterior motive.

Right now she’s shaking hands and kissing babies for her book. Two years from now she might be shaking hands and kissing babies for a different reason.

Just maybe this book tour is a series of campaign whistle stops on training wheels.

So Hillary, enjoy the discount hotdogs at Costco, there might be many more to come.