By Steve Holland
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton, already the front-runner in the minds of many Democrats for the 2016 U.S. presidential election, is writing a memoir about world affairs and her time as secretary of state that will likely fuel more speculation about her political future.
The presidential prospects of Clinton, the wife of former President Bill Clinton, are a subject of feverish speculation in Washington and elsewhere as Democrats look to see over the horizon past President Barack Obama.
The book, her fifth, is to be published next year, and a tour to promote the memoir in 2014 would serve only to generate more guessing about her plans for 2016.
Her inner circle insists Clinton has made no decision one way or the other. This has not stopped the formation of a "Ready for Hillary" political action committee to promote her potential candidacy and seek volunteers and monetary contributions.
Among the subjects Clinton will explore are the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime in Libya, the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Arab Spring, diplomacy pertaining to Iran and North Korea and relations with U.S. allies.
"Hillary Clinton's extraordinary public service has given her a unique perspective on recent history and the challenges we face," said Jonathan Karp, president and publisher of the Simon & Schuster Publishing Group who will edit Clinton's as-yet untitled book.
The book will also address trends in economics, energy and climate change, democracy and human rights, the critical role of women and girls, technology and innovation and health and human development, Simon & Schuster said on Thursday.
When she left the State Department February 1, Clinton, 66, had been suffering from a blood clot near her brain. She said she needed some time to rest and to settle on ways she can help women and children in the United States and around the world.
She is now re-emerging. Last month she announced that she now supports marriage rights for gay Americans. Back when she ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 she had backed civil unions for gay couples.
On Tuesday night in Washington, she spoke about global women's rights at an event held by the non-governmental organization Vital Voices, sharing the stage with a potential 2016 rival, Vice President Joe Biden.
She will give her first paid speech in Dallas on April 24, the day before she attends ceremonies there marking the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library.
Polls show Clinton as the runaway frontrunner at this stage among Democrats for their party's 2016 presidential nomination and that she leads all potential Republican contenders, including former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
(Additional reporting by Chris Michaud in New York and Susan Heavey in Washington; editing by Jackie Frank)