Supporters of Hillary Clinton aren’t just building a movement to try to draft the former secretary of State, they’re building an infrastructure that looks very much like a professional presidential campaign, but with all of its key component parts housed in different entities. Four main outside groups have stepped in to take a portfolio of campaign operations, from rapid response, to fundraising and paid media, to grassroots organizing, to strategic outreach and communications.
While the groups are separate, they have a shared goal and an interlocking network of advisers and donors, many of whom have worked for the Clintons in the past. Priorities USA, the super PAC that helped elect Barack Obama and is now backing Clinton, announced a new board in January that includes leaders of the other three main pro-Hillary groups, as well as the heads of Democratic allied groups, such as unions and the largest LGBT rights groups. It’s an army waiting for a general.
The infrastructure is unprecedented for a noncandidate. It would have been difficult or impossible to build before Citizens United and the widespread use of the Internet, and it could be a model for future presidential bids. “It’s an ugly model, if it’s a model,” a former senior Obama adviser said. “But the reality is, it’s the Wild West in terms of fundraising now.”