WASHINGTON – New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (search), a star fund-raiser for the Democratic Party, is shifting her attention to raising money for her 2006 re-election bid.
Friends of Hillary launched its Web site Monday, complete with a Spanish version, voter registration forms and interviews with the senator and her mother, Dorothy Rodham.
"This isn't the official launch of her re-election, but obviously we're gearing toward that," said Patti Solis Doyle, executive director of HILLPAC (search), Clinton's political action committee.
Clinton is also trying to harness the commercial success of her memoir, "Living History," to raise money for her future in politics.
Visitors to friendsofhillary.com are offered a personally signed copy of the book if they make a contribution of $150; for a $1,000 donation, a supporter will receive a limited edition, specially bound volume of Living History with a personal inscription from the former first lady.
The book has sold more than 1.2 million copies, but the Web site notes supplies of autographed copies are limited.
The Web site also asks supporters to join "Hill's Angels" to help fight off personal attacks from her political opponents on the right.
In the 2002 election cycle, Clinton donated more than $1.4 million to Democrats. A single fund-raiser earlier this year at Clinton's Washington, D.C., home raised $500,000 for Democrats.
"Sen. Clinton has been focused on raising money for other Democrats through HILLPAC and through the [Democratic Party (search)]," said Solis Doyle. "Eventually, we have to start raising money for her own campaign."
The latest financial reports from Friends of Hillary showed the organization has $386,000 as of late June.
State and national Republicans are already eyeing a showdown with Clinton in 2006, with some claiming she would use a victory as a stepping stone to a possible presidential candidacy two years later.
Her 2000 campaign featured profligate spending by both sides, with Republican Rick Lazio (search) spending $39.6 million and Clinton about $29 million. The combined $68.6 million set a record for a Senate race in New York.