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Hillary Clinton Is Already Dealing With Unofficial 2016 Campaign Drama

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 06: Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivers remarks after being presented the 2013 Tom Lantos Human Rights Prize December 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. Clinton received the award for her work in the areas of women's rights and internet freedom. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Photo: Win McNamee/2013 Getty Images

Officially, Hillary Clinton’s main concerns right now are working on her memoir, pressuring Chelsea to make her a grandmother, and deciding whether she wants to keep her new bangs. But while we’re still many months away from an announcement on her plans for 2016, it’s increasingly obvious that Clinton’s camp is working to make sure she’ll have a sophisticated presidential campaign at the ready. The super-PAC Ready for Hillary, which bills itself as a “grassroots” effort to get Clinton to run, regularly offers schwag to those on its e-mail list, but Time reports a message on Sunday offering a free “I’m Ready For Hillary” bumper sticker was different. The return address was “info@hillaryclinton.com” and a spokesman for the super-PAC confirmed that it rented the e-mail list from Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign. 

It isn’t unusual for former campaigns to rent out their e-mail lists – Clinton’s list has already been rented to groups including Barack Obama’s campaign and EMILY’s List – but the move is a sign that Clinton camp approves of the group’s efforts, which was in question at one point. Certainly, Clinton is happy to have groups laying the groundwork for a potential run, but according to an extensive Politico report on the “shadow campaign,” her team already had to step in to sort out the rivalry between outside groups vying for the job.

Though Clinton has tried to maintain distance between her closest advisers and the super-PACs to avoid issues with coordination if she runs, Politico reports that at some point last year she was informed that the animosity between Ready for Hillary and Priorities USA, the main PAC supporting the reelection of Barack Obama, was boiling over. The latter was considering morphing into a pro-Hillary organization, and the two super-PACs were targeting the same donors and had “wildly different” ideas on how to proceed before Clinton was officially running.

A meeting was arranged with advisers from both groups. While some pushed for combining the two organizations, or dissolving Ready for Hillary, eventually they agreed that Ready for Hillary would handle voter data and collect donations under $25,000, while Priorities would focus on mega-donors and paid advertising.

While the Clinton 2016 operation is taking shape, advisers say Clinton truly has yet to make her final decision – and some in her inner circle don’t believe she should put herself through another grueling campaign. From whether to run, to how to structure her campaign, she has a lot to consider – particularly since Politico’s slideshow of influential advisers, friends, and staffers in Clinton’s world lists 50 people, not including Bill and Chelsea.

Clinton 2016 Campaign Drama Has Already Started