(WASHINGTON) -- In the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries, Hillary Clinton was Enemy No. 1 to the staffers working on Barack Obama’s campaign. But today, some of those same campaign strategists are joining the ranks of Ready for Hillary, a group trying to lay the groundwork for a presidential campaign for Obama's one-time rival. Two leading Obama loyalists-turned-Clinton admirers are Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird.
“If you look at her record of leadership, her record of accomplishments, it's probably as strong if not the strongest for any sort of candidate for a national office, or potential candidate in this case,” Stewart said of Clinton, who believes the former secretary of state has broad appeal across the national political landscape.
Stewart and Bird, along with their new political consulting firm 270 Strategies, help make up the unofficial Clinton shadow campaign, Ready for Hillary.
“One of the lessons if you look back to 2012 in terms of our ability to run the kind of ground game that will get volunteers excited, mobilized, trained and...engaging conversations amongst persuadable voters is time and starting early,” Bird said. “What Ready for Hillary is, is a vehicle for those who are excited about her potential candidacy, who want to do something about that...who want to start, you know, the grassroots effort.”
But Ready for Hillary is just one of Stewart and Bird’s clients. Another focus is Texas -- a state that Stewart and Bird argue will ultimately change from being a deep Republican state to a key battleground.
“It's actually not a red state at all,” Bird postured. “When you look at a state with 2.2 million unregistered citizens over the age of 18 who are African-American, Latino and Asian-American, who could be registered today, that tips the balance there. And then you look at the several million who are registered but not turning out. If we can inspire folks and have great candidates running it will be a battleground state in the near future.”
Asked about comments that Gov. Rick Perry of Texas made in an interview with ABC News, in which the governor discounted the idea that Texas could lose its standing as a solid red state, Bird pointed to Republican spending in the state as evidence to contradict Perry.
“If I'm a Republican in Texas and it doesn't matter, then why is FreedomWorks spending $9 million there, why is the RNC?" Bird said, referring to. “Why are they spending millions of dollars in Texas?
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