A gathering of pro-Hillary Clinton activists in Iowa this weekend revealed how supporters of the former first lady are hoping to learn from the mistakes of Clinton's failed attempt to win the Iowa caucuses in 2008. America Rising, a conservative opposition research firm, had its cameras rolling at the meeting, organized by Ready for Hillary, a super PAC that supports Clinton.
In one video, a supporter notes that Hillary must not be seen as the "ordained" candidate. "The environment has changed a lot in eight years. There's even more negativity about everything coming out of Washington," says the supporter. "All this stuff about her being, kind of, destined to be this, and it coming from top down, and it being ordained, we've really got to work hard to overcome that. It's really got to be grassroots up." Watch the video below:
At BuzzFeed, Ruby Cramer reports from Des Moines how Ready for Hillary is running into problems in Iowa:
The 55-year-old Arkansas native sat at the head of a table before a dozen Iowa Democrats in a brewery downtown. He was trying explain, to the fifth group that day, that “Ready for Hillary” is not Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
“We’re not setting up offices,” Smith, a senior adviser to the group, said. “We’re not hiring staff. We’re not doing polling. We’re not buying TV ads. We’re not making policy pronouncements. We’re not endorsing candidates. We’re not the campaign.”
“That’s not what we are,” Smith said.
It was a common message Saturday, as he mostly explained, again and again, what the group is and is not.
After the meetings, the exhausted team declared the day a success. Attendees had been excited; had pinned “Iowans Ready for Hillary” buttons to their lapels; had smiled wide watching video clips from Clinton speeches; had even, at one point, broke into spontaneous applause and cheering at her mention.
“If we build it, she will come,” said one of the meeting’s organizers, Bonnie Campbell, a former Iowa attorney general and Clinton administration appointee.
But despite a sense of excitement over the specter of Hillary Clinton’s could-be campaign, the meetings revealed a tension between what an early primary state like Iowa wants and what a group like Ready Hillary can actually offer.