“Preparedness” was once a word politicians and their operatives reserved for talking about natural disasters. But in the current political campaign climate—in which former governor of New York Eliot Spitzer recently polled ahead in a race he hadn’t technically joined—it seems it’s never too soon to be ready for the next election.
Meet Stop Hillary PAC. They have one objective: derailing a Clinton run for the presidency in three years. (The fact that Clinton has not, in fact, stated her intent to seek said office is not a deterrent.)
“In 2016, it will be too late to stop Hillary,” reads a message on the group’s website, stophillarypac.org. “We’ve got to hold her accountable right now.”
The “we” in question refers to a committee of five men, headed by Ted Harvey, a former Colorado State Senator and Regan White House staffer. Since forming earlier this year, Stop Hillary PAC has been reaching out to individuals across the country through email, social media, and direct mail, according to Garrett Marquis, the group’s spokesperson, targeting an audience of “anyone concerned with a Hillary White House.”
In “So Help Us,” a 50-second video released by the group Wednesday afternoon, a woman’s voice recites the presidential oath of office—with Clinton’s name therein—as images of previous inaugurations and words like “Whitewater,” “Vince Foster,” “Travelgate,” and “Benghazi” move across the screen. In a statement, the group referred to the video as “hard-hitting” and “revealing,” and said it is meant to “tell people who Hillary is, not who she wants the public to believe.”
But with President Obama’s second inauguration a mere seven months behind us, isn’t it a bit soon to begin campaigning?
Christopher Malagisi teaches at American University’s School of Public Affairs, and said that an early, negative splash can be a good way to attract donors who aren’t attached to a particular candidate.
“Many donors, especially PAC ones, want to stay away from party labels,” he said. “They want to affiliate with causes rather than individuals.”