Hillary Clinton returns to Iowa and New Hampshire

Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during a roundtable discussion with students and educators on April 14, 2015 in Monticello, Iowa. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty)
Democratic presidential hopeful and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looks on during a roundtable discussion with students and educators at the Kirkwood Community College Jones County Regional Center on April 14, 2015 in Monticello, Iowa.

After laying low this week, Hillary Clinton will return to Iowa and New Hampshire next week for her second visit to each of the first two states in the presidential nominating process. 

Like her previous trips during this “ramp-up” phase of the campaign, Clinton will focus on small-format events that allow her to meet with voters in relatively intimate settings. Soon, she will hold a larger rally that will kick off a more visible phase of campaigning. 

The announcement comes hours after a New York City fundraiser at the apartment of music executive LA Reid, which featured an appearance from Beyonce, along with other celebrities like Meghan Trainor and Sharon Osbourne. Beyonce and her husband, rapper Jay Z, are longtime supporters of President Obama. A fan account for the pop star tweeted a picture of the event.

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The second trip to Iowa, slated for Monday and Tuesday, underscores Clinton's focus on winning the state where she came in an embarrassing third place in the 2008 Democratic caucuses.

On Thursday, she'll head to New Hampshire, a state she won during her 2008 presidential campaign. 

Clinton will visit South Carolina, another early presidential nominating state, the following week. She’s already spent two days in Iowa, two in New Hampshire, and one in Nevada. She'll also travel to Virginia next month for a state Democratic Party event, the party announced Wednesday.

Clinton had been hoping to get her testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi out of the way next week, but the date of the second Iowa trip suggests it may have to wait. The committee’s Republican chairman has resisted scheduling the hearing until he was assured that Clinton had turned over all emails relating to the Benghazi terror attack from her private email server.

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The Democratic presidential candidate has not been seen in public since her trip to Nevada last Tuesday. She appeared at three private fundraisers in New York Wednesday, including the one at Reid's home, and her campaign is holding their first Finance Leadership Summit in New York Thursday. Clinton will appear at fundraiser in Chicago next week as well. 

Clinton has come under fire in recent days for not taking any questions from the press for a month, nor doing any sit-down interviews with reporters since her announcement in mid-April. "Hillary Clinton can hide behind staged campaign events to avoid voters and the press, but that won’t put to rest the many unanswered questions about her secret email server and shady foreign donations to her foundation," said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short. 

This post has been updated with information on Clinton's New Hampshire visit and a quote from Short.