Hillary Clinton takes one step closer to running for president

Updated

Likely Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has taken another step closer in what appears to be a plan to run for president in the 2016 election.

The former secretary of state’s campaign most recently hired Kristina Schake, a veteran image adviser who shaped first lady Michelle Obama’s public perception into a down-to-earth image, NBC News confirmed on Monday. Just last week, a lease had been signed for office space in Brooklyn, New York, where Clinton’s headquarters are expected to be located. And, days earlier, her campaign hired Tony Carrk, who is expected to serve as Clinton’s research director.

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It is expected that Clinton will declare her intent to run for president in the next few weeks. Her campaign likely is to focus on her personal narrative, a contrast to her presidential bid in 2008.

Schake has been credited with making the first lady into a relatable mom, including dancing with host Jimmy Fallon on “The Tonight Show,” participating in a push-up competition with comedian Ellen DeGeneres, and shopping at Target.

Clinton recently has demonstrated a light-hearted side. She has been engaging in social media and publicly speaking out on hot-button issues. Last week she took aim at the religious freedom law signed by Indiana Republican Gov. Mike Pence. Opponents around the country have called it a piece of legislation discriminating against the LGBT community. She took to Twitter in February to express her opinion that “#vaccineswork” amid the controversy involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Clinton recently has faced widespread criticism for using her personal email address during her tenure as secretary of state. She has called on the State Department to release 55,000 pages of emails that she had selected to be turned over to the government. An ongoing investigation will determine whether or not Clinton broke rules by using her personal account.

Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama

Hillary Clinton takes one step closer to running for president

Updated