A senior adviser to Ready for Hillary, the super PAC encouraging Hillary Clinton to run for President, said Monday he would not be surprised that if Clinton runs, she will have Democratic opposition in the New Hampshire first-in-the-nation primary campaign.
Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is being encouraged to run for the Democratic presidential nomination by MoveOn.org and Democracy for America. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, while not specifically recruiting Warren to run, has reached out to Democrats in the state to try to ensure Warren’s populist issues are part of the campaign debate.
Longtime Bill and Hillary Clinton friend and supporter Terry Shumaker said that while he backs Hillary Clinton, “I’m also a huge supporter of the New Hampshire Primary. I believe that if anyone who wants to run should run, and should run in New Hampshire. That said, Senator Warren has said repeatedly that she is not running.”
Still, said Shumaker, “I’ve always expected that if Hillary runs, she will have opposition. So it’s not surprising that some people are looking for someone with a different agenda. It’s not surprising that some people would be searching for an alternative.
“No incumbent or frontrunner has ever been handed a nomination,” he said, noting that former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley are eyeing candidacies. “Even Dwight Eisenhower had competition for his party’s nomination.”
The way Shumaker sees it, Ready for Hillary has given Clinton the “luxury of time” in allowing her to make her final decision on whether to run for President. That’s because Ready for Hillary will have a state and national organization in place once she makes her expected decision and announcement.
“We’re very pleased with what we’ve accomplished this year,” Shumaker said, citing visits by Ready for Hillary national leaders, the establishment of what he said is a strong statewide organization and regular interaction with rank-and-file activists through meetings and house parties.
Shumaker said New England Ready for Hillary organizing Sean Downey ensured that Ready for Hillary was highly visible at various fairs during the fall, and at the Democrats’ 100 Club and Jefferson-Jackson fundraisers.
“We had more than 20 volunteers working in the last week or two of the midterm campaign,” he said, and since the midterm election, he said, “We’ve had organizing meetings in Nashua, Meredith, Dover, Goffstown, Sunapee and Hampton, and we plan to do more. This has been unlike any other political effort I’ve been involved in.”
“Usually you know when Election Day is,” he said. “But in this effort, we’ve created an incredible army, with $11 million raised nationally, more than 95 percent in small contributions, and 3 million volunteers, with strong activity on college campuses.”
Shumaker likened the effort to “an enormous airliner, with 3 million people, but we’re not quite sure when we’re going to land the plane” since it is unclear when – or officially, if – Clinton will announce her candidacy for President.
“Nothing like this has ever been done before,” Shumaker said. “Most PACs are 20 wealthy people who throw money into a pot and buy ads for or against someone. We’re all about list building and giving people who are supportive of Hillary Clinton a place to go and participate in activities.”