The Hillary Clinton 2016 election train is fired up and ready to leave the station, as the Ready for Hillary Super PAC announced that it had raised $4 million last year in preparation for her possible presidential run. Washington insiders say Clinton has embarked on a “frenetic” cross-country speaking tour to better position herself for a campaign.
Ready for Hillary raised its money from more than 33,000 Americans, with 98 percent of donors giving $100 or less. Most of the funds were raised in the second half of the year at events held around the country to rally support for Clinton. In a statement, Ready for Hillary executive director Adam Parkhomenko said the group exceeded its fundraising goals for the year, calling the organization and its support “unprecedented.”
“We will continue to build capacity across the country to put Hillary in the strongest position possible should she decide to run,” he said.
During an interview with Barbara Walters on her ABC special profiling the 10 Most Fascinating People of 2013, Clinton, 66, said she hadn’t made up her mind about running and expects to decide later this year.
“It’s such a difficult decision, and it’s one that I’m not going to rush into . . . and I don’t think we should be looking at the next election,” Clinton said. “We should be looking at the work that we have today. Our unemployment rate is too high. We have people getting kicked off food stamps who are in terrible economic straits. Small business is not getting credit. I could go on and on, so I think we ought to pay attention to what’s happening right now.”
Clinton has spoken out on a number of issues, such as endorsing same-sex marriage, lamenting the Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act, and urging Congress to rewrite the nation’s immigration laws.
“By talking about those issues, she is . . . inserting herself in the conversation,” Maria Cardona, a former Clinton spokeswoman in 2008 who now works at Dewey Square Group, a public affairs firm, told the Miami Herald.
“The Democrats’ 2016 front-runner is in hiding,” America Rising, a conservative opposition research group, wrote in November. “That demonstrates just how weak her party’s current political position is and underscores that Hillary, more than anything, is a political animal.”
If Clinton does decide to run, right now she seems to be a virtual shoo-in for the nomination. She has a more than 5-to-1 advantage over her nearest rival, according to a recent McClatchy-Marist poll, even thoroughly eclipsing Vice President Joe Biden.