Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Clinton Campaign: Hillary Didn't Have "A Lot of the Usual Resources" of Other Candidates

     As the 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign closed the books on its first month of operations, campaign manager Robby Mook emailed supporters with a rather remarkable claim: Hillary Clinton "didn't have a lot of the usual resources that other candidates might have" to launch a campaign. Tellingly, Mook provided only two examples to back up his assertion: "No big email list" and not even a Facebook page (!) in place until 30 days ago. Here's how the email begins:
Friend -- 
In the last month, we've gone from zero to 100. 
I mean that (almost) literally: When we launched this campaign, we didn't have a lot of the usual resources that other candidates might have. No big email list or anything like that -- up until 30 days ago, Hillary didn't even have a Facebook page!
     However, there are a few "resources" that Mook has overlooked:

  • A Twitter account with well over three million followers even before Mrs. Clinton announced her campaign. (In contrast, Sen. Bernie Sanders has 317,000 followers, Martin O'Malley has 67,000).
  • A previous presidential campaign in 2008 under her belt with all the contacts, experience, and networks that go with it.
  • Despite Mook's statement that the Clinton campaign has "no big email list", Time reported in January 2014 that the super-PAC "Ready for Hillary" had rented Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign email list, after which the PAC reported its "biggest online fundraising day in @ReadyForHillary history!"
  • During the two years before her announcement, the Ready for Hillary super-PAC pushed Mrs. Clinton to enter the race. According to the PAC's website, they acquired "over 4 million identified supporters and more than 135,000 donors, who have made over 215,000 separate contributions. We have raised over $15 million and received more than 55,000 contributions of the symbolic $20.16. Ready for Hillary has held over 1,300 events in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, Guam, and with Democrats Abroad in 5 different countries. This movement has also received the backing of hundreds of elected officials all across the country." (The PAC, of course, cannot coordinate with Mrs. Clinton's actual campaign organization now that she has declared.)
  • A stint as Secretary of State, arguably the highest profile position in the federal government after the president, from 2009-2013.
  • Her time as a high-profile senator from New York from 2000-2009.
  • Mrs. Clinton was First Lady from 1992-2000.
  • Mrs. Clinton's husband served as President of the United States from 1992-2000.
  • Bill Clinton, according to the Washington Post, gave 542 speeches all over the world, earning $104.9 million in just the first twelve years after leaving office, potentially opening a vast network of donors and contacts for his wife.
  • Mrs. Clinton herself made millions of dollars on dozens of speeches herself after leaving her position as secretary of state, per a Politico report, again providing tremendous publicity and contacts.
  • A globally recognized charitable foundation, the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, bears her name, and apparently the foundation has no plans to drop "Hillary" from the name.
  • The New York Times reported in April that the Clinton campaign may spend up to $2.5 billion on the 2016 campaign.
    All things considered, Mrs. Clinton may actually have more resources at her disposal than any candidate for president in U.S. history, Mook's assessment notwithstanding. It remains to be seen if that will be enough to win her the Democratic nomination that eluded her in 2008 and beyond that, the White House itself.

    Here's the entire text of the email from campaign manager Robby Mook:

Note: A version of this post first appeared at The Weekly Standard.

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