Hillary Clinton to join husband on lucrative public speaking circuit

Former secretary of state Hillary Clinton looks set to enter the lucrative speaking circuit as early as this spring, in the first phase of her public life after four years in the Obama administration.

The popular Democrat has signed on with the Harry Walker agency, which also handles speaking engagements for her husband, former president Bill. She is expected to draw fees in the high six-figures for some talks. The news was first reported by Politico, the Washington-based politics site.

The former secretary's next moves are being closely watched for signs that she is running – or not – for the presidency in 2016. So far she has not stated an intention to do so.

Former president Bill Clinton earned $13.4m from speaking engagements in 2011, a personal record, according to financial disclosures filed by Hillary Clinton. In November 2011, the former president was paid $750,000 for a single speech in Hong Kong to the telecom company Ericsson.

Replaced at the state department by John Kerry on 1 February, Hillary Clinton has said her immediate plans are to relax after an unusually active four years. As secretary of state she visited 102 countries, more than any previous secretary, putting in 351 travel days over four years, according to the State Department.

A survey this month by Quinnipiac University, a major pollster, found that Clinton is the most popular political figure in the United States, with a 61-34 split in her favorability rating. She has been a central figure on the national political stage for two decades, from the time her husband was elected president in 1992, through her Senate career of 2000-2008, her presidential run and her cabinet post.

Clinton also plans to write a book about her time as the nation's top diplomat, she has said. In 2000 she earned a near-record advance of $8m for her memoir of the White House years. At the time only the pope had netted more for a book advance.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Tom McCarthy in New York, for The Guardian on Monday 18th February 2013 18.15 Europe/London

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