Hillary Clinton may not appear on a ballot anywhere for at least another year and a half, but her (first) name will in just a few days.
On Tuesday, Democrats in Washington will head to the polls to decide a contentious mayoral primary, but farther down the ballot, they’ll also have the option of voting for a “D.C. Ready for Hillary” slate of candidates running for party-leadership positions.
The four candidates have no affiliation with the super PAC of the same name, but they’re fired up about the former secretary of State, and want voters to know that.
“We have been strong supporters of Hillary through the years and so we thought that by identifying ourselves with the hopes that she would run, that would help people understand our direction and draw them to us,” said MaryEva Candon, a longtime local party leader who is running on the slate for Democratic national committeewoman from the District of Columbia. Setting the rules for the presidential primary process is a key job for committee members.
Also on the slate is Arrington Dixon, a former D.c. council member, who is running for Democratic national committeeman, along with Philip Pannell and Courtney Snowden, who are running as alternates. Dixon and Candon have both previously served as DNC members, including during the 2008 Democratic primary. If they win, they’ll also serve on the local party’s executive committee.
Candon said the Clinton name (and paraphernalia) are a major draw. “If you support Hillary, you might like to support us, instead of others running for the same position,” she says she tells people at events. “People want our stickers, it’s really fun.”
They’ll be competing against candidates running on a “The Rent Is Too Darn High” slate, among others.
While the Ready for Hillary candidates have no official connection to the Ready for Hillary super PAC, Candon said she and her running mates are members of the grassroots organization, and want to support their work. “We are not a subsidiary of them, but we are an advocate of them,” she said. “We are a grassroots effort that wants her to run also, so we borrowed their name, Ready for Hillary, and added D.C. so we weren’t exactly the same.”
Ready for Hillary (the super PAC) declined to comment for the record, but those close to the group see it as evidence of the strength and popularity of their brand (which is itself derivative of the strength and popularity of Hillary Clinton’s brand).
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Instead of his usual stump speech, Bernie Sanders tonight threw his support behind Hillary Clinton, providing a clear contrast between Clinton and GOP nominee Donald Trump on the many issues he used to discuss in his campaign stump speeches. Sanders spoke glowingly about the presumptive Democratic nominee, lauding her work as first lady and as a strong advocate for women and the poor. “We need leadership in this country which will improve the lives of working families, the children, the elderly, the sick and the poor,” he said. “Hillary Clinton will make a great president, and I am proud to stand with her tonight."
In a stark contrast from Michelle Obama's uplifting speech, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the rigged system plaguing Americans before launching into a full-throated rebuke of GOP nominee Donald Trump. Trump is "a man who has never sacrificed anything for anyone," she claimed, before saying he "must never be president of the United States." She called him divisive and selfish, and said the American people won't accept his "hate-filled America." In addition to Trump, Warren went after the Republican Party as a whole. "To Republicans in Congress who said no, this November the American people are coming for you," she said.
"In this election, and every election, it's about who will have the power to shape our children for the next four or eight years of their lives," Michelle Obama said. "There is only one person who I trust with that responsibility … and that is our friend Hillary Clinton." In a personal and emotional speech, Michelle Obama spoke about the effect that angry oppositional rhetoric had on her children and how she chose to raise them. "When they go low, we go high," Obama said she told her children about dealing with bullies. Obama stayed mostly positive, but still offered a firm rebuke of Donald Trump, despite never once uttering his name. "The issues a president faces cannot be boiled down to 140 characters," she said.
Many Bernie Sanders delegates have spent much of the first day of the Democratic National Convention resisting unity, booing at mentions of Hillary Clinton and often chanting "Bernie! Bernie!" Well, one of the most outspoken Bernie Sanders supporters just told them to take a seat. "To the Bernie-or-bust people: You're being ridiculous," said comedian Sarah Silverman in a brief appearance at the Convention, minutes after saying that she would proudly support Hillary Clinton for president.
The Democratic National Committee issued a formal apology to Bernie Sanders today, after leaked emails showed staffers trying to sabotage his presidential bid. "On behalf of everyone at the DNC, we want to offer a deep and sincere apology to Senator Sanders, his supporters, and the entire Democratic Party for the inexcusable remarks made over email," DNC officials said in the statement. "These comments do not reflect the values of the DNC or our steadfast commitment to neutrality during the nominating process. The DNC does not—and will not—tolerate disrespectful language exhibited toward our candidates."