Over 1,000 days out, pro-Clinton group holds first finance strategy session
November 12th, 2013
05:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Over 1,000 days out, pro-Clinton group holds first finance strategy session

Washington (CNN) – Ready for Hillary, a political fundraising group dedicated to electing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton president in 2016, held its first national finance council strategy meeting in New York on Tuesday.

The day-long strategy sessions included a lunch moderated by David Brock, founder of the left-leaning Media Matters for America, on how to counter right wing attacks on Clinton.

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Later in the evening, former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm was scheduled to lead a discussion titled "Why I am Ready for Hillary."

The event also brought out two former Obama loyalists who are now supporting the Hillary group. Mitch Stewart, a former top aide to President Barack Obama's 2008 and 2012 campaigns, and Alissa Ko, who was the Obama campaign's Western regional operations director, were scheduled to lead a discussion on how to build a new Clinton coalition.

The inclusion of the two Obama aides – especially Stewart, who in 2008 leveled harsh criticism against Clinton – signaled that at least some of the team that helped Obama win the White House is prepared to back Clinton as well.

Tracy Sefl, a senior adviser for Ready for Hillary, told CNN that there were around 170 attendees at the strategy session.

"To have those people, who were so involved in the invocations of 2008 and 2012, it is exciting," Sefl said of Stewart and Ko. "To me, it is about innovation and progress and building on those victories."

Other panels during the event included a briefing on demographics, titled "What America Will Look Like in 2016" and a discussion on the finances needed to propel Clinton to the White House, titled "Building the Resources to Win."

Given the fact that there are over 1,000 days to go until voters head to the polls in 2016, some Democrats are worried that publicly building support for a candidate this early could backfire and add to voter disenchantment with the political process.

Sefl, while acknowledging those concerns, knocked them down.

"Ready for Hillary has made very conscious efforts to move at a tempo that is reasonable for 2013, and is planning a tempo that is reasonable for 2014 and so on," she said. "There is a lot of attention to detail that goes into that."

Ready for Hillary is a Super PAC started earlier this year with two goals: urging the former secretary of state to run for president and raising both grassroots funds and enthusiasm for Clinton.

While the group says it is focused on building grassroots support, that is certainly not its sole focus. Last month, the group trumpeted via Twitter that ultra-wealthy hedge fund manager and liberal champion George Soros had thrown his weight behind it.

Although the group is barred by law from coordinating with Clinton, the fact that the PAC is made up of former Clinton aides and confidants means it is largely seen as the political precursor to any campaign the former first lady would mount should she decide to run for president in 2016.

"This organization is unabashedly dedicated to doing one thing and one thing only, and that is to amass a list of supporters," Sefl said. "What happens, decisions that other people make, decisions that are bigger than any one person, decisions that are outside one person's control, that is the future. This is about getting that list together."

– CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. smith

    Why doesn`t Soros just run for president his money and political groups control the democracts and their ilk. Liberals always shout over the Koch Bros and the gop hacks but stay silent when it comes Soros and liberal hacks.

    November 12, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  2. Ol' Yeller

    Soros donates for idealistic and altruistic reasons. The koch bros. do it out of pure unadulterated greed.

    November 12, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Please get whoever President Obama used to run your campaign finances HIllary.
    You can't go into the White House as President owing people money from your campaign.

    November 12, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  4. Randy, San Francisco

    You can tell the presidential sweepstakes are in full swing when big money pours into campaign coffers and the anti-Hillary political attack dogs are foaming at the mouths.

    November 12, 2013 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  5. Thomas

    I'll vote for Hillary ,
    as long as Bill isn't imbedded at the White house 24 /7, drinking Bud lite on the front lawn and hitting on interns , not on my dive !

    November 12, 2013 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  6. freedom

    That can't spin her "What difference does it make how four Americans were murdered??!" bellowing. Came directly out of her mouth for the world to hear and see.

    November 12, 2013 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. S. B. Stein

    It is a shame that there is so much money that needs to be raised to run for any political office. I don't care what part of the political spectrum you're from, this should disturb any and everyone because our democracy is for sale to some degree.

    November 12, 2013 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |