Key Democratic donors will rush to finance potential presidential candidate Hillary Clinton when she announces her plans for a second campaign for the Oval Office in a show of strength not seen since President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign, insiders are saying.
"The floodgates are going to open immediately, and there’s going to be a rush to get on the team," real estate mogul Don Peebles, who was on Obama's national finance committee, told The Hill
. "There’s nobody in the Democratic Party who can match her. Not even close."
"It’s going to be like nothing you’ve seen," said another top donor, who supported Obama and now plans to put money behind Clinton. "The numbers will be astounding."
The former secretary of state's allies expect her to launch her campaign this spring, and say a money blitz could scare away many other Democratic rivals.
They believe large donors are more likely to back her than progressive favorite Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, whose has become a polarizing figure for her attacks on the Wall Street interests, whose money is key to mounting large national campaigns.
But Warren, who has insisted she is not running in 2016 despite a growing push for her to do so, is already attracting big money from supporters. Two liberal PACs — Democracy for America and MoveOn.org — last week launched a "Run Warren Run" campaign in New Hampshire, pledging to spend $1.25 million in Iowa and New Hampshire in the hope of convincing Warren to run, reports The Boston Herald
"What the groups are doing is trying to keep the concept of a Warren candidacy in play
. They’re hedging," Patrick Griffin, who works for the bipartisan public opinion research firm Purple Strategies, told The Herald. "They’re hoping. But if she’s not a willing participant, there’s nothing to be pining for."
But another fundraiser said Clinton's supporters from 2008 will return for her again in 2016, and most of those who supported Obama "will be there as well because they're appreciative of what she did and what President [Bill] Clinton did to support President Obama."
"[She will] do a good job of having strong out of the gate numbers," the fundraiser said. "Her campaign is going to blow through what they did in 2008."
However, another fundraiser commented that Clinton could have trouble keeping her donations coming in after the initial spike, as "you're just not going to have the events to keep sustaining it." Donations only come, the unnamed fundraiser commented, when there are milestone events or if campaigns seem facing problems.
"You've gotta have people be really happy or really scared," the donor said, noting that the Obama campaign got its biggest cash flow during milestone events, such as after he clinched the Democratic nomination or won the Iowa caucus in 2008.
In 2012, donations poured in after Obama flubbed his first debate against GOP nominee Mitt Romney.
It is also still not decided who will run Clinton's campaign finances, should she announce her candidacy.
Many insiders say that person would be Dennis Cheng, the chief development officer at the Clinton Foundation. Cheng also worked on Clinton's team during her last presidential campaign.
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