From the company paper, in the town where politics is the monopoly industry, in WaPo‘s political-horserace blog:
… Earlier this month, Jeremy Bird, the national field director for Obama’s reelection race, and Mitch Stewart, who ran the 10 swing state operation for the president, signed on to “Ready for Hillary,” the super PAC that is functioning as a campaign-in-waiting for Clinton should she decide to run.
While the Bird/Stewart hires drew attention when they were announced, it’s hard to overestimate what the duo’s decision to work for a Clinton vehicle (and said vehicle’s willingness to have them) means going forward.
The single most valuable commodity in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination is the staff talent that Obama cultivated during his two presidential campaigns. While some of the top names — David Plouffe, David Axelrod, Jim Messina, Dan Pfeiffer etc. — are Obama-ites through and through and won’t likely ever work on another presidential campaign, there is a whole layer of staff talent beneath them that is itching to bring what they learned in 2008 and/or 2012 to bear on another campaign. Bird and Stewart are at, or near, the top of that list — due in no small part to their expertise in building a field operation, a major weak spot of Clinton’s 2008 campaign…
From the MSM Paper of Record, the NYTimes, “A Bet on Clinton”:
A new group dedicated to paving the way for a Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016 has already recruited dozens of the Democratic Party’s elite donors and bundlers, effectively kicking off the presidential money hunt more than three years before Election Day.
The group, Ready for Hillary, is aiming to build Mrs. Clinton a grass-roots network that would give her a prohibitive edge in any Democratic primary and a significant advantage over potential Republican rivals, channeling enthusiasm for Mrs. Clinton, a former first lady and New York senator, into Facebook hits, Twitter followers and affinity groups around the country.
But the group’s early cash haul and cultivation of a high-powered donor network underscores how presidential campaigns have continued to evolve — and lengthen — in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision…
Unlike many of the outsize super PACs formed in recent years to wage expensive advertising campaigns, Ready for Hillary is trying to build a list of enthusiastic volunteers and repeat small donors, emulating the model that proved to be Mr. Obama’s most significant strategic advantage in battling an onslaught of Republican outside groups last year. (The group has received more than 3,625 contributions of exactly $20.16 each.)…
Whether or not Hillary Clinton decides to run in 2016, I think this is good for the Democratic party. If she runs, she has a head start on the Republican Klown Kavalcade; if she doesn’t, there’s an army of volunteers and donors ready to support whichever Democrat does. The temptation for second-term Presidents is to hoard campaign veterans & donors for Operation Cement the Legacy, and that’s not good for the rest of their party — ask both Al Gore and John McCain!