Saturday, March 28, 2015

Where Should Hillary Kick Off Her Campaign? Here's an Idea.

The announcement is coming in a matter of days, and Politico is giving us some idea of what the launch of Hillary 2016 might look like.
Clinton, according to several people familiar with the still-in-flux planning process, will embark on a short tour that will almost certainly include Iowa — and perhaps other states — to interact with voters in a series of events, most of them in low-key settings...
“They know that they need to reintroduce Hillary to America,” said one Democratic insider familiar with the Clinton team’s thinking. “They know it makes no sense to think of this as, ‘Let’s start where she left off on the national stage.’ This is not a continuation of the Hillary we knew as secretary of state. That’s the focus of their energy.”
Clinton aides want to reintroduce her with “humility,” the source added. “They are making sure she understands there are no guarantees, and I think we’re going to see that in her posture and her words. I don’t think people are expecting that.”
Regular Q&A events with smaller crowds are indeed a good idea, especially with the possibility of no Democratic debates, but let's not dismiss the incredible visual appeal of massive rallies either. And make no mistake about it: Democrats everywhere are stoked about Hillary's campaign and will undoubtedly come out in droves to see her.

According to the article, there is also some debate among political operatives about whether or not Bill Clinton should be at the announcement. Seriously? Of course he should be there...along with their daughter, son-in-law, precious infant granddaughter and any other family or close friends who would like to attend. They don't all have to be on stage with her when her announcement is made, but to specifically disinvite her husband would be an insane example of mistaken strategic overthinking.
Clinton staffers say the kickoff announcement is likely to be made during the first few weeks in April but stressed that no firm date has been chosen yet. Most expect that Clinton’s initial announcement will come via social media or by mass email, followed by events. The location of her first in-person event has yet to be chosen, they say.
I have zero inside information about any of this, but I have my own guess/recommendation about the location of her official announcement.

If humility is what her campaign wants, then why not return to the place where the Clinton political story began almost 40 years ago? It's also a city right in the middle of a Southern state, which would send a message that Democrats will not overlook this part of the country in 2016. There also happens to be a local presidential library and airport with the Clinton name on them.

That's right...Little Rock, Arkansas.

There's still a vast reservoir of goodwill for the Clintons in that state, so they could undoubtedly amass an impressively huge and enthusiastic crowd. It would also be the ideal place to spotlight her lifelong record of public service, which started long before she was a household name in the 1990s.

Essentially, Little Rock would represent a sentimental reminder of the Clintons' roots and past triumphs in the heartland of ideal backdrop for Hillary's historic speech that will set our collective gaze on the promise and possibility of the future.

There are political considerations as well: a huge event such as this could put Arkansas firmly into play for 2016. The most recent poll of the state found that Hillary was only 1 to 4 points behind several potential GOP candidates there. The only person running well ahead of Clinton is Mike Huckabee, who still seems to be a long shot for the nomination at this time. You can imagine that Bill especially would just love to win Arkansas again in 2016, and he'll do whatever he can to make it happen. Kicking off Hillary's campaign there would certainly be one hell of a way to get the ball rolling.

So, what about Iowa? Spending a few quality days in that state immediately after would be quite advisable. Luckily, it's only one state away from Arkansas...and they can either leapfrog over Missouri or put a further scare into Republicans by making a quick stop or two in that swing state as well. Who would see that coming?

...other than readers of Hillary HQ, of course.


  1. Does anyone have their own idea about where it should be? Civilized debate is always welcome here!

  2. I think she should make the announcement in Iowa, out of respect for the primary process. Of course, anyone has seen the discussions on Kos knows that there is a group of "Hillary-Dislikers" who will continue to snipe at her regardless of what she says or does. Maybe they'll at least quiet down a little when her campaign is underway, and the down-ballot races start to take shape.

    1. Iowa would be a great choice, no doubt about it. She definitely should hit it hard in the first few days of the campaign, no matter where the announcement happens. I'll keep talking to the Kos anti-Hillary brigade like an adult and we'll see what happens!