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For Hillary Clinton, awards season never ends

In November alone, Clinton showcased her credentials more than sixteen times, thanks to a string of awards ceremonies and paid speaking engagements.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles as she waits to answer questions from an audience at Chatham House on Oct. 11, 2013 in London, England.
Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton smiles as she waits to answer questions from an audience at Chatham House on Oct. 11, 2013 in London, England.

For Hollywood, awards season is three months away. For Hillary Clinton, it never ends.

In November alone, Clinton attended at least 16 star-studded award ceremonies and speaking engagements, allowing her to rub shoulders with high-end donors and Hollywood heavy-weights while being feted for her work in promoting the advancement of women and girls. On the nights that she isn't being presented with awards, Cinton is earning six-figure speaking fees.

On Tuesday evening in New York, it was one more prize: The Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation's Global Impact Award. The group honored the democratic powerhouse and rumored 2016 contender for her “legacy of leadership and courage” in the fight against AIDS, including efforts to educate women on how to prevent transmission during pregnancy.

Clinton talked about bipartisanship, PEPFAR (former President Bush's $15 billion program to fight HIV/AIDS over five years ending in 2008), and Glaser's legacy, according to a tweet by a New York-based AIDS activist group. Clinton reportedly recalled her early work with Glaser to help test and treat children Tuesday night at New York City's Best Buy Theatre on Broadway, where she was surrounded by Diane Sawyer, Julianna Margulies, and Gloria Reuben. 

October was dominated by a rally for then-candidate Terry McAuliffe who was elected Virigina's next governor, plus awards from fashion designer Michael Kors and singer Elton John.  Clinton kicked off November with a fiery speech at Pennsylvania's Conference for Women, where more than 7,000 people cheered her and her new “No Ceilings” initiative promoting female empowerment.

Clinton then headlined a black-tie fundraiser in Detroit on Nov. 6 for members of the Beaumont Society, top donors to the health system that runs hospitals in the city. 

But it was a swing through the wealthy corridors of blue state California in November that drew the most attention. On Nov. 8, she was awarded the International Medical Corps Global Champion Award in Beverley Hills. Tremolos CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, director Stephen Spielberg, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone and Lionsgate Motion Picture Group co-chairman Rob Friedman attended the event, which raised almost $2 million for efforts to provide health care in more than 70 countries affected by natural disaster and conflict.

Clinton was accompanied by her daughter Chelsea, a fixture in her 2008 campaign. The two women joined the Producers Guild of America to talk about another one of her pet issues: childhood development. The discussion, led by film director Rob Reiner, was attended by a group of Hollywood executives and writers who broke largely for Obama in 2008 – but have signaled support for Clinton in 2016, should she decide to run again for the presidency.

From Beverley Hills, Clinton jetted to a brunch the next day at the University of Southern Califnoria, where she received the Hermandad Award from the Mexican American Leadership Initiative of the U.S.-Mexico Foundation for her work to foster a “constructive partnership” between the U.S. and Mexico during her tenure at as secretary of state.

That evening Clinton hit a paid speaking engagement in San Francisco at the National Association of Realtor's annual meeting. While her fees vary per event, she's likely to earn six figures per engagement and is represented by the Harry Walker Agency.

She managed to pack in a third event that day: for Millennium Network San Francisco, put on by the Clinton Foundation. Guests included actors Patrick Dempsey and Rashida Jones.  

On Monday Nov. 11, Clinton was back on the East Coast for three high-profile events in New York City: Glamor magazine's Women of the Year awards, where she honored former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffordsand her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, for fighting to reform gun laws after Giffords was near-fatally shot in her home district. At a separate event, Malaria No More presented Clinton with the Global Leadership Award. That Friday, she spoke about securing freedoms for Afghan women after U.S. troops leave the country alongside Secretary of State John Kerry and former First Lady Laura Bush. 

The following week, it was the American Patriot Award at the National Defense University. She then presented the World Jewish Congress’ Theodor Herzl Award to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Elie Wiesel and his wife Marion, and was then honored along with Antonio Banderas by Queen Sophia of Spain.

Just halfway through the week, as the nation prepared to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the assassination of former President John F. Kennedy, Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Obama. The Clinton family traveled with the Obamas and members of the Kennedy clan to Arlington to commemorate Kennedy’s passing. Clinton was also slated to host a screening of the new biopic Mandela that day with former Secretary of State Colin Powell. While in Washington, she stopped by the Brookings Institute to make her case for early childhood development. The next day, she pulled off another paid speaking engagement for the U.S. Green Building Council at Pennsylvania's Temple University. 

When Clinton left her post as the nation's chief diplomat early this year, she said she looked forward to “stepping off the very fast track for a little while.” But her period of rest, relaxation, and HGTV didn't last long. Whether the first lady-turned-senator-turned-secretary-of-state is gearing up for another run at the nation's top office, she's leaving a carefully calibrated trail of honors and accolades in her wake.