Ready for Hillary: New Backers, High-Profile Endorsements Lend Legitimacy to Pro-Clinton Super PAC


A few days later, Ickes, a Clinton stalwart and expert fundraiser, chimed in on behalf of the upstart group, telling the Sunday Times of London that he had signed on as an adviser.

And last week, Ready for Hillary circulated a news release trumpeting the addition of Tauscher, who served for three years as undersecretary of state in the Clinton administration, as a supporter and strategic adviser to the group.

"I have been up close to her -- as close as you can get," Tauscher said in an interview with ABC News. "She is second to none. I will support her whatever she does, but selfishly, I hope she runs."

Tauscher, who represented a Northern California congressional district for a dozen years before leaving for the State Department, has already put her money where her mouth is. She wrote the group a $2,500 check this month.

Her donation was its first clue it had a potential big-name surrogate in the midst. Tauscher said that within hours of contributing to the Ready for Hillary website, a staff member called to ask if she was, in fact, "the Ellen Tauscher."

"I thought it was pretty funny," she said.

Bringman said the support of Tauscher and many others shows "there's no shortage of folks who want to help Hillary, want her to run for president and want to see her succeed."

As proof of that, he blasted out an email message to supporters over the weekend, noting that Ready for Hillary blew past the 100,000 fan mark on Facebook. He wrote that the group "has been expanding its social media base at a rate of one new person every 14 seconds," helping it amass more than 55,000 Twitter followers too.

Despite Ready for Hillary's thousands of newfound friends, the group currently employs just three paid staffers: Bringman, who works out of his home in Columbus, Ohio, and worked on Clinton's 2008 bid; Matt Felan, the national finance director who is based in Michigan and served as deputy national finance director for Clinton's campaign five years ago; and Nickie Titus, the group's digital director who was director of digital media on Tim Kaine's successful 2012 Virginia Senate campaign.

The group's co-founders, Allida Black and Adam Parkhomenko, have been volunteering their time. Black was a professor at George Washington University for 20 years and is now an independent historian. In an office on the second floor of her brick colonial home in Arlington, Va., Black surrounds herself with books and photos of Clinton and other political leaders. Among her treasured possessions is a pair of orange high-top sneakers signed by Clinton that Black said she wore while traveling the country as a super-volunteer for Hillary during the 2008 campaign.

Black, who hatched the idea for Ready for Hillary with Parkhomenko shortly after the 2012 election said that the goal was simple: to "build the most effective operation that we can to buy Hillary some time."

"We are not a fly-by-night group," Black said. "We know what we're doing."

She and Bringman said that neither of them has received pushback from members of the Clinton's inner circle. "We've gotten nothing but encouragement," Bringman noted, from people close to the former first lady. "I don't think there's anyone who would tell Hillary supporters not to express their support for her."

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