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Hillary Clinton, rested and ready, shares stage with Biden at Vital Voices

She’s back! On Tuesday night, Hillary Clinton made her first public appearance since leaving the State Department at the annual Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at the Kennedy Center.

On the same day allies debuted their Hillary 2016 PAC, Clinton debuted her own version of the tanned-rested-and-ready look: A new bobbed hair style, a clear-eyed gaze unencumbered by the glasses she wore for weeks after her December concussion scare.

Clinton is a regular at the annual event, which honors advocates seeking to improve the lives of women around the world; this year the honorees included Malala Yousafzai and Clinton’s former chief of staff from the White House years, Melanne Verveer, who co-founded the group. Yet while Clinton stayed on point, with a politics-lite speech about global women’s rights, there was that buzz about her political future in the air – and even a small cluster of fans out front waving “Ready for Hillary” signs.

Adding to the excitement: Also on stage? The other maybe-Democratic-frontrunner, Joe Biden. They acknowledged each other cheerily. “Vice President Biden and I have worked together on so many issues, [like] the fight against domestic violence,” said Clinton. Biden began a laudatory reference to powerful “women like” Clinton before catching himself to ramp up the rhetoric: “Let me rephrase that: There’s no woman like Hillary Clinton.”

Biden, perhaps not surprisingly, went on a little longer, speaking for about 15 minutes about the passage of the Violence Against Women Act, the recent rape case in Delhi, and attacks on women in Egypt, before getting around to introducing his designated honorees. He also lingered for a while after Clinton’s departure, posing for photos with admirers at the reception.

So, that sounded a little like a campaign speech. Has the race already begun, Mr. Vice President? “No, if you know anything about me, you know that I’ve been making that same speech for thirty years,” he said. “Look into it.”

Related: Kate Hudson surprises teenagers in Washington for mentoring session, 4/2/13
Male voices speak out to end violence against women, 4/1/13
Vital Voices Global Partnership honors female leaders, 6/5/12

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