Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years:Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, pictured in October 2012, has become one of the most powerful people in Washington. Here's a look at her life and career through the years:

Before she married Bill Clinton, she was Hillary Rodham. Here, Rodham talks about student protests in 1969, which she supported in her commencement speech at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.Before she married Bill Clinton, she was Hillary Rodham. Here, Rodham talks about student protests in 1969, which she supported in her commencement speech at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

Rodham, center, a lawyer for the Rodino Committee, and John Doar, left, chief counsel for the committee, bring impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon in the Judiciary Committee hearing room at the U.S. Capitol in 1974. Rodham, center, a lawyer for the Rodino Committee, and John Doar, left, chief counsel for the committee, bring impeachment charges against President Richard Nixon in the Judiciary Committee hearing room at the U.S. Capitol in 1974.

Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton helps first lady Rosalynn Carter on a campaign swing through Arkansas in June 1979. Also seen in the photo is Hillary Clinton, center background.Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton helps first lady Rosalynn Carter on a campaign swing through Arkansas in June 1979. Also seen in the photo is Hillary Clinton, center background.

Bill Clinton embraces his wife shortly after a stage light fell near her on January 26, 1992. They talk to Don Hewitt, producer of the CBS show "60 Minutes."Bill Clinton embraces his wife shortly after a stage light fell near her on January 26, 1992. They talk to Don Hewitt, producer of the CBS show "60 Minutes."

With Hillary, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton waves to the crowd at his victory party after winning the Illinois primary on March 17, 1992.With Hillary, Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton waves to the crowd at his victory party after winning the Illinois primary on March 17, 1992.

Al Gore, Tipper Gore, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton wave to supporters at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, after they gave speeches on family values on August 23, 1992.Al Gore, Tipper Gore, Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton wave to supporters at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, after they gave speeches on family values on August 23, 1992.

Clinton gestures at a campaign rally November 3, 1992, in Denver. After taking office, President Clinton chose his wife to head a special commission on health care reform, the most significant public policy initiative of his first year in office.Clinton gestures at a campaign rally November 3, 1992, in Denver. After taking office, President Clinton chose his wife to head a special commission on health care reform, the most significant public policy initiative of his first year in office.

Bill and Hillary Clinton have a laugh together on Capitol Hill in 1993.Bill and Hillary Clinton have a laugh together on Capitol Hill in 1993.

Clinton pours herself a cup of tea in 1993 while testifying to the Senate Education and Labor Committee about health care reform.Clinton pours herself a cup of tea in 1993 while testifying to the Senate Education and Labor Committee about health care reform.

Clinton speaks at George Washington University on September 10, 1993, in Washington during her husband's first term.Clinton speaks at George Washington University on September 10, 1993, in Washington during her husband's first term.

Clinton waves to the media on January 26, 1996, as she arrives at federal court in Washington for an appearance before a grand jury. The first lady was subpoenaed to testify as a witness in the investigation of the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas.Clinton waves to the media on January 26, 1996, as she arrives at federal court in Washington for an appearance before a grand jury. The first lady was subpoenaed to testify as a witness in the investigation of the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas.

Hillary Clinton looks on as President Clinton discusses the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on January 26, 1998.Hillary Clinton looks on as President Clinton discusses the Monica Lewinsky scandal in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on January 26, 1998.

Hillary and Bill Clinton arrive at Foundry United Methodist Church on August 16, 1998, in Washington. He became the first sitting president to testify before a grand jury when he testified via satellite about the Lewinsky matter.Hillary and Bill Clinton arrive at Foundry United Methodist Church on August 16, 1998, in Washington. He became the first sitting president to testify before a grand jury when he testified via satellite about the Lewinsky matter.

Clinton shakes hands during a St. Patrick's Day parade in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens, New York, on March 5, 2000.Clinton shakes hands during a St. Patrick's Day parade in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Queens, New York, on March 5, 2000.

Clinton waves to the crowd as she arrives on the stage at the Democratic National Convention on August 14, 2000, in Los Angeles.Clinton waves to the crowd as she arrives on the stage at the Democratic National Convention on August 14, 2000, in Los Angeles.

Clinton campaigns for a Senate seat October 25, 2000, at Grand Central Station in New York.Clinton campaigns for a Senate seat October 25, 2000, at Grand Central Station in New York.

Hillary Clinton is sworn in as a senator of New York in a re-enactment ceremony with, from left, President Clinton, nephew Tyler, daughter Chelsea, brother Hugh Rodham, mother Dorothy Rodham and Vice President Al Gore on January 3, 2001, in Washington.Hillary Clinton is sworn in as a senator of New York in a re-enactment ceremony with, from left, President Clinton, nephew Tyler, daughter Chelsea, brother Hugh Rodham, mother Dorothy Rodham and Vice President Al Gore on January 3, 2001, in Washington.

Andrew Cuomo, Eliot Spitzer and Clinton celebrate with a crowd of Democratic supporters after their wins in various races November 7, 2006, in New York.Andrew Cuomo, Eliot Spitzer and Clinton celebrate with a crowd of Democratic supporters after their wins in various races November 7, 2006, in New York.

Clinton speaks during a post-primary rally on January 8, 2007, at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire.Clinton speaks during a post-primary rally on January 8, 2007, at Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The Clintons pay a visit to the 92nd annual Hopkinton State Fair in Contoocook, New Hampshire, on September 2, 2007.The Clintons pay a visit to the 92nd annual Hopkinton State Fair in Contoocook, New Hampshire, on September 2, 2007.

Clinton speaks at a campaign rally September 2, 2007, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Clinton speaks at a campaign rally September 2, 2007, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She was running for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Clinton addresses a question during a debate with other Democratic presidential candidate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, on September 26, 2007. Also pictured are U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, left, and former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska.Clinton addresses a question during a debate with other Democratic presidential candidate at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, on September 26, 2007. Also pictured are U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, left, and former U.S. Sen. Mike Gravel of Alaska.

Felipe Bravo, left, and Christian Caraballo are covered with Hillary Clinton stickers in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, on January 8, 2008.Felipe Bravo, left, and Christian Caraballo are covered with Hillary Clinton stickers in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire, on January 8, 2008.

Clinton campaigns in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with her daughter, Chelsea, on January 1, 2008, two days ahead of the January 3 state caucus.Clinton campaigns in Council Bluffs, Iowa, with her daughter, Chelsea, on January 1, 2008, two days ahead of the January 3 state caucus.

Clinton waves as she speaks to supporters at the National Building Museum on June 7, 2008, in Washington. After pulling out of the presidential race, Clinton thanked her supporters and urged them to back Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States.Clinton waves as she speaks to supporters at the National Building Museum on June 7, 2008, in Washington. After pulling out of the presidential race, Clinton thanked her supporters and urged them to back Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States.

Obama and Clinton talk on the plane on their way to a Unity Rally in Unity, New Hampshire, on June 27, 2008.Obama and Clinton talk on the plane on their way to a Unity Rally in Unity, New Hampshire, on June 27, 2008.

Obama watches Clinton address the Democratic National Convention on August 26, 2008. The two endured a long, heated contest for the 2008 nomination.Obama watches Clinton address the Democratic National Convention on August 26, 2008. The two endured a long, heated contest for the 2008 nomination.

Sen. Charles Schumer, left, looks toward Secretary of State designate Clinton as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. John Kerry, center, looks on during nomination hearings January 13, 2009, on Capitol Hill.Sen. Charles Schumer, left, looks toward Secretary of State designate Clinton as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Sen. John Kerry, center, looks on during nomination hearings January 13, 2009, on Capitol Hill.

Clinton testifies during her confirmation hearing for secretary of state on January 13, 2009, in Washington. Clinton testifies during her confirmation hearing for secretary of state on January 13, 2009, in Washington.

Clinton, as secretary of state, dances with a local choir while visiting the Victoria Mxenge Housing Project in Philippi, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, on August 8, 2009.Clinton, as secretary of state, dances with a local choir while visiting the Victoria Mxenge Housing Project in Philippi, a township on the outskirts of Cape Town, South Africa, on August 8, 2009.

Clinton looks through binoculars toward North Korea during a visit to an observation post July 21, 2010, at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.Clinton looks through binoculars toward North Korea during a visit to an observation post July 21, 2010, at the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas.

Clinton walks up the steps to her aircraft as she leaves a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on July 23, 2010, in Hanoi, Vietnam.Clinton walks up the steps to her aircraft as she leaves a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on July 23, 2010, in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Hillary and Bill Clinton pose on the day of their daughter's wedding to Marc Mezvinsky on July 31, 2010, in Rhinebeck, New York.Hillary and Bill Clinton pose on the day of their daughter's wedding to Marc Mezvinsky on July 31, 2010, in Rhinebeck, New York.

U.S. President Barack Obama and Clinton observe a moment of silence before a NATO meeting November 19, 2010, in Lisbon, Portugal.U.S. President Barack Obama and Clinton observe a moment of silence before a NATO meeting November 19, 2010, in Lisbon, Portugal.

Clinton listens as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu makes a brief statement November 29, 2010, before a bilateral meeting at the State Department in Washington.Clinton listens as Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu makes a brief statement November 29, 2010, before a bilateral meeting at the State Department in Washington.

Clinton shakes hands with a child during an unannounced walk through Tahrir Square in Cairo on March 16, 2011.Clinton shakes hands with a child during an unannounced walk through Tahrir Square in Cairo on March 16, 2011.

Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Clinton and members of Obama's national security team receive an update on the Osama bin Laden mission May 1, 2011, in the Situation Room of the White House.Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Clinton and members of Obama's national security team receive an update on the Osama bin Laden mission May 1, 2011, in the Situation Room of the White House.

Clinton checks her personal digital assistant prior to departing Malta on October 18, 2011.Clinton checks her personal digital assistant prior to departing Malta on October 18, 2011.

Clinton dances while in Cartagena, Colombia, on April 15, 2012.Clinton dances while in Cartagena, Colombia, on April 15, 2012.

Clinton enjoys a beer at Cafe Havana in Cartagena, Colombia, on April 15, 2012.Clinton enjoys a beer at Cafe Havana in Cartagena, Colombia, on April 15, 2012.

Clinton appears with little makeup during an event in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on May 6, 2012. She tells CNN, "I feel so relieved to be at the stage I'm at in my life right now ... Because you know if I want to wear my glasses, I'm wearing my glasses. If I want to wear my hair back I'm pulling my hair back. You know at some point it's just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention."<!-- --> </br>Clinton appears with little makeup during an event in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on May 6, 2012. She tells CNN, "I feel so relieved to be at the stage I'm at in my life right now ... Because you know if I want to wear my glasses, I'm wearing my glasses. If I want to wear my hair back I'm pulling my hair back. You know at some point it's just not something that deserves a lot of time and attention."

Clinton speaks as Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai listens during a news conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 7, 2012.Clinton speaks as Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai listens during a news conference at the presidential palace in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 7, 2012.

Clinton arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel on July 15, 2012.Clinton arrives at Ben Gurion International Airport in Israel on July 15, 2012.

Clinton looks on as Obama makes a statement in response to the attack at the U.S. Consulate in Libya on September 12, 2012.Clinton looks on as Obama makes a statement in response to the attack at the U.S. Consulate in Libya on September 12, 2012.

Clinton applauds Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a ceremony where Suu Kyi was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal on September 19, 2012.Clinton applauds Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi during a ceremony where Suu Kyi was presented with the Congressional Gold Medal on September 19, 2012.

Bill Clinton kisses his wife after introducing her at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting on September 24, 2012, in New York City. Bill Clinton kisses his wife after introducing her at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting on September 24, 2012, in New York City.

Clinton shakes hands with Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf on September 24, 2012, in New York. Clinton shakes hands with Libyan President Mohamed Magariaf on September 24, 2012, in New York.

Clinton stands during a news conference following meetings at the prime minister's office in Pristina, Kosovo, on October 31, 2012. Clinton said that Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence, fiercely opposed by Serbia, was "not up for discussion." Clinton stands during a news conference following meetings at the prime minister's office in Pristina, Kosovo, on October 31, 2012. Clinton said that Kosovo's unilaterally declared independence, fiercely opposed by Serbia, was "not up for discussion."

Clinton chats with Suu Kyi before Obama speaks at the University of Yangon in Yangon, Myanmar, on November 19, 2012.Clinton chats with Suu Kyi before Obama speaks at the University of Yangon in Yangon, Myanmar, on November 19, 2012.

Obama looks at Clinton before the start of a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, far right, during the East Asian Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on November 20, 2012. Obama looks at Clinton before the start of a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, far right, during the East Asian Summit in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on November 20, 2012.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Clinton at the prime minister's office November 20, 2012, in Jerusalem.Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Clinton at the prime minister's office November 20, 2012, in Jerusalem.

Clinton receives a sports jersey and football helmet from Deputy Secretary Tom Nides, center, after returning to work on January 7, 2013, following a fall where she hit her head and doctors later detected a blood clot. The number 112 represented the number of countries that she had visited as secretary of state. Clinton receives a sports jersey and football helmet from Deputy Secretary Tom Nides, center, after returning to work on January 7, 2013, following a fall where she hit her head and doctors later detected a blood clot. The number 112 represented the number of countries that she had visited as secretary of state.

Clinton and her husband arrive for the inauguration for Obama's second term on January 21, 2013.Clinton and her husband arrive for the inauguration for Obama's second term on January 21, 2013.

Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill on January 23, 2013. Lawmakers questioned Clinton about the security failures during the Benghazi, Libya, attacks that led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.Clinton testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill on January 23, 2013. Lawmakers questioned Clinton about the security failures during the Benghazi, Libya, attacks that led to the death of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.

From left, first lady Michelle Obama stands with former first ladies Laura Bush, Clinton, Barbara Bush and Rosalynn Carter at the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas on April 25, 2013.From left, first lady Michelle Obama stands with former first ladies Laura Bush, Clinton, Barbara Bush and Rosalynn Carter at the opening ceremony of the George W. Bush Presidential Center in Dallas on April 25, 2013.

From left, Clinton, former first lady Laura Bush and former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush listen to speakers during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Soweto, South Africa, on December 10.From left, Clinton, former first lady Laura Bush and former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush listen to speakers during the memorial service for Nelson Mandela in Soweto, South Africa, on December 10.

Clinton ducks after a woman threw a shoe at her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference in Las Vegas on April 10.Clinton ducks after a woman threw a shoe at her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference in Las Vegas on April 10.

Clinton tours the National September 11 Memorial &amp; Museum in New York with President Barack Obama, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, first lady Michelle Obama and former President Clinton on May 15.Clinton tours the National September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York with President Barack Obama, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, first lady Michelle Obama and former President Clinton on May 15.

Clinton sits down with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer on Thursday, June 5, for her first television interview in conjunction with the release of her new book, "Hard Choices." Clinton sits down with ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer on Thursday, June 5, for her first television interview in conjunction with the release of her new book, "Hard Choices."

Clinton makes 10-year-old Macy Friday's day as she campaigns for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall during a stop Monday, October 13, in Union Station in Denver.Clinton makes 10-year-old Macy Friday's day as she campaigns for U.S. Sen. Mark Udall during a stop Monday, October 13, in Union Station in Denver.








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  • Democrats have pointed to early January as a symbolic date for Clinton's presidential aspirations

  • If Clinton doesn't say 'no' by early January 2015, people close to Clinton say, it will be a sign she is running

  • Clinton said in September, that she will 'be making a decision around - probably after - the first of the year'




Washington (CNN) -- As Democrats close to Hillary Clinton recover from their New Year's Eve celebrations and flip their calendar to 2015, many will notice a seemingly unimportant date is fast approaching.


For months, pro-Clinton Democrats have pointed to early January -- particularly Jan. 15 -- as a symbolic date for Clinton's presidential aspirations. In conversations with one another and at strategy sessions about a possible 2016 run, former aides and confidants have quietly said that if Clinton doesn't say "no" to running by the start of 2015, she is a go for 2016.





Dodging the big question: running in 2016?




Behold, the Clinton Echo




More than 3 decades of Bushes & Clintons

"If she hasn't said 'no' by January, it will be a sign she is running," said one longtime Clinton friend at last month's Ready for Hillary strategy session in New York.


The early January time frame is regularly used by Clinton supporters as a way to put off directly answering the will she/won't she questions posed by reporters. While the date itself is not totally significant, it has become a shorthand for early January. With that time frame now approaching, some in Clinton's orbit are admitting that time is running out for Clinton to say "no."


RELATED: The Clinton 'announcement' you weren't waiting for


"If she is not going to do it, she can't let it drag on after January 15," said a Democratic strategist close to Clinton. "If she hasn't said something after that date, people should assume she is running."


The strategist, who said this was the general sense among people close to Clinton, added, "She has two weeks to say she isn't running."


The reason is simple: Clinton has, so far, sucked up all the oxygen in the Democrats' 2016 conversation. If she lets that continue well into 2015 and then decides to back out, she puts her party -- which already has a thin bench of second tier candidates -- in a tough position.


While chatter about former Sen. Jim Webb, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Vice President Joe Biden have bubbled up throughout late 2014, neither have caught fire in the polls. The latest CNN/ORC poll finds Webb at a paltry 1%, Warren in second place with 9% support and Biden in third at 8%. Hillary Clinton, by comparison, is at 66% support.


Because of the uncertainty around her announcement date, groups urging Clinton to run intend to continue their work well into 2015. Ready for Hillary, the grassroots super PAC organizing on Clinton's behalf, has events planned well into March but plans to close shop once Clinton announces. Groups like Correct the Record, a communications and research shop, and Priorities USA, a fundraising and ad buying outfit, have both pledged to ramp up in early 2015.


RELATED: Poll: Hillary Clinton most admired woman, Obama most admired man


Although Clinton's candidacy has long been a forgone conclusion to many of her close confidants, there are still some who hold out that she might decide not to run and has yet to make up her mind.


Clinton has tried to play coy with her presidential ambitions, but began to more forcefully acknowledge her thoughts near the end of 2014. She has met with potential campaign staffers, according to her spokesman, and people close to her have begun to carefully line up a potential political operation.


Clinton herself even used January 1, 2015 as a time frame for her decision.


"I am going to be making a decision around -- probably after -- the first of the year," Clinton said during a September appearance in Mexico City.



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