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Hillary Clinton not running yet, except from media

November 5, 2013

By Carla Marinucci

Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at August's American Bar Association convention, but her speech to Realtors will be blacked out. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle

Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton spoke at August’s American Bar Association convention, but her speech to Realtors will be blacked out. Photo: Lea Suzuki, The Chronicle

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clintonhasn’t even started her 2016 presidential campaign yet – and she’s already shutting out the press.

Clinton’s much-anticipated speech at theMoscone Center on Saturday before theNational Association of Realtors conference, a convention that is drawing 22,000 people to San Francisco this week, will be blacked out – closed to the media.

So will her big fundraiser Saturday night with daughter Chelsea Clinton at San Francisco’s Regency Ballroom, a “Millennial Network” event to benefit the Clinton Foundation.

The decision to bar reporters from the Clinton speech before thousands of Realtors is “per her team’s request,” a National Association of Realtors spokeswoman said in an e-mail Monday.

Seriously? In San Francisco? The easiest Democratic audience in the country? The region that’s home to Twitter, Facebook and Google?

This is the progressive bastion where the biggest logistical problem at the Realtors convention may be how many chairs to remove so Hillary fans can better prostrate themselves at the feet of the woman considered the leading Democratic contender for the White House in 2016.

This is the place where former San Francisco Mayor and current Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsomjust announced his support of ReadyforHillary.com, an advocacy group hoping to push her to run in 2016.

And this is a speech before a sea of Realtors – all armed with cell phones so they can YouTube it to their clients.

Clinton got a ton of national media coverage in August when she spoke in the same location to the American Bar Association.

Back then, the former secretary of state – making a move that appeared to edge her closer to a 2016 run – promised a series of conversations around the nation to explore issues.

She started that effort in San Francisco, making a strong appeal to protect voting rights that she called “the heart of America’s democratic experiment.”

Uh, not to be picky – but so is a free and unfettered press.

The “off the record” talk at one of the biggest convention centers in the country is an interesting strategy. The closed-door policy isn’t typical of the Realtors conference, which runs Wednesday through Monday.

Federal housing officials and Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., are among those who will address the convention in public.

On Saturday, reporters will be allowed to cover the convention’s general session from 4 to 6 p.m. But when Clinton begins her talk, the TV feed to the media room will actually go black, a Realtors association spokeswoman told us.

Clinton’s representatives did not return phone calls seeking an explanation for barring the media from her speech. Read the rest at SFGate.

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