It's possible the era of presidential campaign staffers finding temporary side gigs may have come to an end.
Technically, Hillary Clinton isn't sure if she's running for president. Practically, a massive ecosystem of Democratic consultants and campaign hands have already swung into campaign mode for her, as a new report from Politico makes clear. Clinton's immediately recognizable name and super PAC infrastructure allows the money to keep flowing in.
Once upon a time, people who worked on presidential campaigns spent the years afterward working in the private sector or in administrations or for non-profits or on gubernatorial or Senate races. Now, with Hillary Clinton's "shadow campaign" (in Politico's Maggie Haberman's articulation), there's no need. "[T]he Obama political infrastructure is seamlessly transitioning to serve as [Clinton’s] political infrastructure,” strategist Chris Lehane told Haberman. “And [it] sends a signal to both Obama donors and operatives that it is all right to begin actively supporting the Clinton ’16 effort.”
Haberman is exhaustive in presenting the outlets already at work on Clinton 2016. There's the consulting firm Dewey Square Group, which gave Clinton and her aides an overview of how the primary campaign could work and how and when they would need to run television ads. There's Priorities USA, a super PAC linked to Hollywood's Jeffrey Katzenberg, which has been on the brink of luring Obama 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina away from Obama's own PAC, Organizing For Action. There are myriad smaller groups and consultancies that are looking to clamber aboard the already rolling gravy train.
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