She may be the democratic front-runner in 2016 presidential politics, but Hillary Clinton has yet to officially declare her intention to again pursue the highest elected office in the land.
Ready for Hillary, a super-PAC seeking to engage the oh, so important voting blocs of African Americans, women and young people that got President Obama elected (and re-elected), is trying to help the former First Lady make up her mind.
Today, Ready for Hillary launched its Black Americans program to secure the support of African Americans across the country for a potential Clinton run. Program Director Quentin James said of the launch, “whether in her days as First Lady of Arkansas, First Lady of the United States, or as a United States Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has always prioritized issues of importance in the black community.”
In reaching Black Americans across the nation, the program will serve as a hub for engaging and mobilizing the black community across the country. To accomplish their goal, Ready for Hillary is launching five program focused on outreach to Barbershops and beauty salons, faith-based organizations and congregations, civic organizations, small businesses and DJs and club promoters. They also intend to outreach to and train black youth at HBCUs in the skills of voter mobilization, all while engaging black women in the civil rights community and commemorating Freedom Summer and the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
Professor Mark Alexander, a Ready for Hillary Senior Advisor who worked on the Obama campaign in 2008, emphasized the importance of continuing to support President Obama and staying active by supporting Hillary Clinton. Enrolling Americans in Obamacare and spreading the word around the importance of the Affordable Care Act, and supporting voting rights are key priorities around which he says this organization is seeking to keep people mobilized.
The goal is to “keep people energized and engaged,” said former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, who is supporting this effort. According to her, there is a great deal of interest in Ready for Hillary in Texas and Georgia, and “this is a marathon and we have to pass a baton.”
Because Clinton has yet to declare, Ready for Hillary cannot get out in front of her on policy statements. The organization is not the campaign and can’t get ahead of Clinton on any policies she would promote. That said, Obamacare and voting rights have been identified as issue areas Clinton has advocated over the past year, and so it is with those issues that Ready for Hillary will target its outreach.
With the 2016 elections roughly three years away, Ready for Hillary is actively engaged in preparing for the midterms.
“We are engaged in a big movement here, obviously behind Hillary Clinton and a potential run for president, but it is fundamentally a movement to improve democracy and how our government works, and that requires us to be active in every race,” said Alexander in noting their efforts to build an early grassroots network for both the 2014 midterms and a 2016 presidential run run for Clinton. “The more we raise the profile of the presidential election, the more people will be interested in the elections in 2014,” echoed Franklin.
Whatever their target, Ready for Hillary is not only ready for the first female president of the United States, but they’re also ready to leverage the huge gains from African American support that President Obama enjoyed during both his election cycles.