A week ago, without committing myself to one side or another, I asked readers whether they would support a campaign by Hillary Clinton for President in 2016.
This morning, I want to highlight one reason Democrats might want to hold back their enthusiasm from Hillary Clinton for a while: The Draft Hillary movement is getting itself started with corrupt machines of campaign finance.
Ready For Hillary is working to position itself as the dominant player in the movement – as a web site, but also as a Super PAC fundraising organization, capable of taking unlimited amounts of money from undocumented sources. The Ready For Hillary shadow money machine boasts two extremely close allies of the Clintons, Harold Ickes and James Carville, so it’s difficult for Hillary Clinton to say that she has no influence over the group’s unethical campaign finance ambitions. Still, she has not even attempted to distance herself from Ready for Hillary – a sign that if she were to campaign for President, she would eagerly participate in the dirty world of campaign-affiliated independent expenditures.
Ready for Hillary founder Allida Black says that she intends to disclose all the sources of the Super PAC’s funds, but such promises of transparency typically aren’t matched by what political organizations actually do – as voters duped by Americans Elect and Unity08 can painfully remember. Even if Ready for Hillary does disclose the sources of its money, it has not sought to distance itself from the other significantly corrupting aspect of Super PAC operations – the ability to collect unlimited amounts of money from wealthy individuals and organizations.
Two other pro-Clinton Super PACs have also formed: HillaryFTW and HillaryClintonSuperPAC. It’s possible that all this fundraising to promote the idea of a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign in 2016 won’t go anywhere. Perhaps it’s just a way for Democratic Party insiders to try to ingratiate themselves with the Clintons, who have much influence in Washington D.C., though for the first time since 1992, neither one of them holds a high position in the federal government. Such a possibility doesn’t reflect well upon Hillary Clinton, though, suggesting that she has built, with her husband, a culture of Democratic Party sycophantism in which flattery and money are valued over competence and good ideas.
So far, the movement to promote Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate seems to be led by political elites, not by the any grassroots enthusiasm. The comfort of these elites with the dirtiest methods of campaigning suggests that those who would influence Hillary Clinton, as a candidate and as President, would rather maintain the flawed status quo in Washington D.C., than attempt to change it.