Politics Hillary Clinton PAC calls on students for early support By Ben Postlethwait Posted on November 26, 2013 7 min read 0 0 513 With 1079 days until the next election and before she has announced any intent to run, Hillary Clinton supporters at Ohio University are encouraging her to campaign to be the next President of the United States. In a campaign event Monday, National Communications Director for the Ready for Hillary Political Action Committee Seth Bringman held a meeting in Baker University Center for potential student and citizen volunteers to help raise awareness and further encourage former Secretary of State Clinton to run for the 2016 presidential election. “Our goal is to build this army of supporters,” he said. “Our goal is to show Hillary we are behind you if you want to run. There’s no better way to do that than grassroots organizing, social media and small dollar donations.” Bringman visited campus with the goal of creating a support base that could be activated in case Clinton would announce her candidacy, but also as a sign to Clinton that she already has a strong supporter base throughout the country that is eager for another Democrat to run the White House. For a campaign strategist like Bringman, Athens is a Democratic stronghold and is key for a Democratic organization to gain access to. Between a strong, liberally-leaning citizen base and the important student vote, Athens is big target population in a swing state like Ohio. This is the reason why President Barack Obama visited Athens during his reelection campaign last October, and it’s also the reason why Bringman was in Athens this week. “Bobcats for Obama and the Athens area have been great people for Democrats to work with and we think young people like this are absolutely critical,” Br ingman said. “You can’t be too early.” Bringman, an Ohio native, says that this state is the starting point for many successful elections, so his presence at Ohio University is key. He said that college students, an oft-sought after population in national elections, has an energy that should be harnessed for political action. The Ready for Hillary Campaign is currently focused on building support nationwide not only with grassroots, boots-on-the ground strategy that Monday’s meeting utilized, but also with a strong digital presence, a strategy that proved successful for Obama’s two elections to the White House. They already have over one million supporters and over 25,000 donations to the PAC, according to Bringman. “Our goal is to show the sheer amount of energy Hillary’s supporters have, whether they’re old Obama supporters, old Hillary supporters, new Hillary supporters, or even Republican supporters,” Bringman said. In attendance at Monday’s meeting were Democratic State Rep. Debbie Phillips and Senator Lou Gentile, both in Athens to express their support for a potential Hillary 2016 ticket. Phillips said she was encouraged by the support that she sees for Clinton so early on, saying “[It’s an] exciting early start… It was really clear early on that southern Ohio loves Hillary.” “I think that her experience as Secretary of State is really a lot to build and provides an opportunity for her to work on a world stage. I’m really excited to see so much early enthusiasm for Hillary….we also have elections coming up next year that will be important,” Phillips said. Gentile echoed those sentiments, saying that the first electoral hurdle for Ohio voters will be the upcoming 2014 governor race, stating his disapproval for Republican Gov. John Kasich’s policies. Gentile also explained how he had a close relationship with former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, and that Strickland in turn was close to the Clintons during former President Bill Clinton’s time in office. “As soon as I got off the plane I rushed to the hotel to tell my family I was hanging out with Hillary Clinton. I’m excited to be here today to ask Hillary to run for president,” Gentile said. “It’s important that we start now and lay the groundwork for 2014. 2014 is critical, but it’s never too early to start thinking about 2016.” The OU College Democrats, who helped set up for the visit, have expressed their support for the Ready for Hillary PAC. “I am very ready for Hillary and I hope you are all too,” said Caitlin Roberts, President of Ohio University College Democrats.