There are still 887 days until Americans head to the polls in 2016 to elect their next president. But that hasn’t stopped more than 2 million people from joining a grassroots political action committee called Ready for Hillary aimed at encouraging the former secretary of state to run for president.
The Ready for Hillary PAC has attracted contributions from 55,000 donors and boasts constituency groups like Latinos Ready for Hillary, Asian American and Pacific Islanders Ready for Hillary, Native Americans Ready for Hillary, and Veterans for Hillary.
So, naturally, it was only a matter of time until Jewish Americans Ready for Hillary joined the scene. This week, that’s exactly what happened when three veteran Jewish Democrats — Steve Rabinowitz, Marc Stanley, and Katz Watson — launched the official Jewish campaign to encourage Hillary Clinton to run.
‘We want her to be president, and now we have one more way to show her that we want her to run.’ — Democratic consultant Steve Rabinowitz
“We love her. It’s that simple,” says Rabinowitz, a former aide in the Bill Clinton White House. “She deserves and enjoys the overwhelming support of American Jews. We want her to be president, and now we have one more way to show her that we want her to run.”
Matt Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), says his group is entirely focused on the 2014 mid-term elections at the moment and called the “media fascination with 2016 very, very premature.”
“It’s all inside baseball, bored consultants and reporters who engage in this now. There is plenty of time to discuss 2016 in the coming years,” he said.
‘It’s all inside baseball, bored consultants and reporters who engage in this now.’ — Matt Brooks, Republican Jewish Coalition executive director
Nevertheless, the RJC made 2016 headlines of its own in April when a number of possible Republican presidential candidates attended its spring leadership meeting in Las Vegas, hosted by RJC board member Sheldon Adelson. They included governors Jeb Bush (FL), Chris Christie (NJ), John Kasich (OH), and Scott Walker (WI).
The new pro-Hillary Jewish group acknowledges that the Ready for Hillary membership list already includes a significant number of Jews.
So why is a Jewish-specific group necessary?
“Because we all wear many hats,” says Rachel Schneider, Ready for Hillary’s Jewish Americans director, who also serves as Ready for Hillary’s Young Americans director. “Each of us engages in the political process in different ways. With the launch of Jewish Americans Ready for Hillary, we’re appealing to people who want Hillary to run and who identify as a Jewish American to join and to help recruit other Jews to join in this special effort.”
‘We’re appealing to people who want Hillary to run and who identify as a Jewish American…’ — Rachel Schneider, Ready for Hillary Jewish Americans director
Katz Watson, a Democratic political fundraiser and former AIPAC finance director, said the new group isn’t only about money, but does encourage volunteers to donate anywhere from $20.16 to $25,000, the maximum contribution allowed by law.
Although virtually the entire US political world considers a Hillary Clinton candidacy a foregone conclusion, it’s worth noting that neither she, nor any of her close political aides, has declared her intentions to run.