Dollar Bill

The early phase of the official HRC for President campaign will be judged in the media via three dimensions–avoiding danger, generating genuine enthusiasm among Democrats, and raising money. Coverage of this last area kicks off today with an overview at Bloomberg Politics by Julie Bykowicz and Jennifer Epstein. It’s marred a bit by the obvious let’s-lower-expectations-by-admitting-HRC-won’t-meet-them game of the Clinton campaign sources they tapped. But it provides a solid explanation of that campaign’s goals and challenges across the spectrum that begins with low-dollar internet contributions and ends in the stratosphere of Super-PAC money.

In that stratosphere, HRC is going to have a weapon unlike any other candidate in either party, and one that is probably best deployed there: The Big He:

[Hillary] Clinton could legally appear at fundraisers for the super-PAC, so long as she doesn’t specifically ask for contributions to the group. More intriguingly, so could her husband. That could provide Team Clinton with a way to offer major donors a VIP experience without Hillary Clinton getting into the kind of venues that could damage the populist credentials her party’s left wing will demand.

Anyone who’s ever seen Bill Clinton speak to a small room of big egos–political or financial–understands there’s really nobody better at it than he is. And it certainly seems a good preoccupation for him early in the campaign when his wife not only needs to strengthen her “populist” credentials, but also must not be overshadowed in public by the family member who has already been elected president.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.