We are now two years away from a presidential primary, but South Carolina Democrats say they are getting “Ready for Hillary” — at least the idea of a strong candidate getting an early start.
About 75 people spent an evening in downtown Columbia to support “Ready for Hillary” super PAC’s efforts to urge Hillary Clinton to run. Though the group is not connected to the former Secretary of State, it is a way for her supporters to both measure enthusiasm and attempt to create more of it.
“What we’re seeing from our supporters is that we are ready to start organizing now,” said Ready for Hillary Southern Regional Director Quentin James, who is a Mauldin native. “With 2014 elections coming up, I think there’s an opportunity to use the momentum around Hillary to inspire volunteers and supporters of the Democratic Party to go and work on behalf of other Democrats.”
A handful of the guests told South Carolina Radio Network that their attendance did not equal an endorsement of Clinton if she runs.
The event’s host, Denmark Rep. Bakari Sellers, had no problem with that. He said his intention was to “give grassroots South Carolina Democrats a sense of relevancy.”
“It’s about making sure that as we move forward to this November … that we have actually have people who are willing to work, that are excited and I’m not sure that we are there yet. This is just an event to get us there,” said Sellers, who is right now is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for Lt. Governor.
Clinton supporter and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Don Fowler noticed that many of the attendees were Bakari-backers. “The people that are here you can count 10 or 12,” he said.
Fowler said pre-season PAC events like this are worth keeping an eye on.
“It’s a relatively new technique, so I do not know how its going to play out. Obviously if she runs, the money and the organization that this group is developing would be helpful to her,” Fowler observed. “She so dominant now that you’d expect this kind of thing to happen. It’s hard to see past her to anybody else in 2016.”
“Of course, a lot of people thought that in 2008 and it didn’t work out,” he added.