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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There seems to be a clear consensus forming about Monday's debate: Hillary Clinton was the clear winner. One focus group of undecided Pennsylvania voters, conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz, found 16 favored Clinton while five picked Donald Trump. In a Florida focus group organized by CNN, 18 of 20 undecided voters saw Clinton as the winner.
As both candidates walked off the stage, Donald Trump lauded himself for being restrained and for not bringing up Bill Clinton. "I didn’t want to say—her husband was in the room along with her daughter, who I think is a very nice young lady—and I didn’t want to say what I was going to say about what’s been going on in their life," Trump said. Trump claims he stopped himself from hitting Bill Clinton because daughter Chelsea was in the room.
At the end of the debate, moderator Lester Holt asked Donald Trump if he stands by his statement that Hillary Clinton didn't have the look of a president. Trump responded by saying Holt misquoted him, instead saying that Clinton "doesn't have the stamina." Clinton responded by saying that when Trump visits 112 countries as secretary of state, he can talk to her about stamina.
Donald Trump, when pressed by Lester Holt on why he finally admitted that President Obama was born in America, repeated his widely debunked claim that it was started by Hillary Clinton.
Hillary Clinton went point by point on how race can so often determine the treatment that people receive, mentioning recent shootings in Tulsa and Charlotte, calling for restored trust between communities and police, and demanding criminal justice reform. Trump responded by calling for law and order and touting his endorsements from police unions. He then said that “African Americans are living in hell,” saying they are just walking down the street and getting “shot ... being decimated by crime."