When Hillary Rodham Clinton visits the University at Buffalo for her speech tonight, Ready for Hillary will be, well, ready.
The political action committee, or PAC, which is organizing a grass-roots effort to encourage Clinton to run for president in 2016, will have about 10 volunteers working the line of people entering UB’s Alumni Arena for the sold-out speech, which starts at 8 p.m. on the North Campus in Amherst.
“We’ll be handing out Ready for Hillary stickers so Hillary can see us wearing them,” as well as collecting the email addresses of new supporters, said Quinne Sember, president of the College Democrats at UB and organizer of the local Ready for Hillary effort.
“It’s pretty exciting to see this big liberal movement happening on campus.”
Ready for Hillary, an Arlington, Va.-based PAC, has positioned itself as the most mainstream – and most successful – of several Web-based efforts to pave the way for a 2016 presidential candidacy by the former secretary of state and U.S. senator from New York.
The group raised $1.25 million in the first six months of the year and has more than a million followers on Facebook. It was founded by former Clinton campaign staffer Adam J. Parkhomenko and Allida M. Black, a historian at George Washington University and longtime Clinton backer.
Moreover, its advisers include old Clinton hands such as Washington lawyer Harold M. Ickes and Democratic consultant James Carville. And in July, the group hired 270 Strategies – run by Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird from President Obama’s highly successful get-out-the-vote effort in the 2012 campaign – to put together its field operation.
Ready for Hillary reached out to Sember to organize tonight’s outreach.
“They’ve stepped up and are going to do a really important thing,” Seth Bringman, Ready for Hillary’s spokesman, said of the volunteer effort at UB.
Ready for Hillary involves local Democratic groups at events where Clinton is appearing in public, Bringman said.
Even though Ready for Hillary has not made any special efforts to recruit supporters from Buffalo before tonight, 720 people from the region have signed up at the group’s website, while 2,200 people from metro Buffalo have “liked” Ready for Hillary on Facebook, Bringman said.