Hillary Rodham Clinton may not yet be ready to announce whether she'll launch a bid for the White House in 2016 just yet, but a growing crowd of political operatives are ready to to get in on the action of her expected candidacy right now.
Along with high-profile outside groups being run by Clinton allies such as Priorities USA Action and Ready for Hillary, there are more than a dozen other Clinton-specific super PACs registered with the Federal Election Commission – including three set up in the past six weeks.
Most have raised paltry sums or have not filed finance reports, but several are pulling in sizable donations and mobilizing supporters in support of -- or opposition to -- her potential presidential bid. Some have launched slick websites and started selling Clinton-themed merchandise, giving them the trappings of other well-established groups.
Their independent activities could contribute to a chaotic political environment for Clinton, who as a candidate would not be able to coordinate with super PACs working on her behalf.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill declined to comment.
The expanding cottage industry of pro-Clinton super PACs includes groups such as Faith Voters for Hillary, Hillary 2016 and Hillarypac.
The latest entrant, Stand With Hillary, says it will use social media to promote her image with Latinos and working families.
The California-based group is the project of Daniel Chavez, a longtime Democratic political operative, and media producer Miguel Orozco, who wrote a series of Latin-flavored songs celebrating Barack Obama in the 2008 election.
The super PAC’s Web site features a three-minute music video of a country ballad called “Stand With Hillary,” written by Orozco. In the video, a young cowboy plays guitar and gazes lovingly at his wife and young daughter, as images of Clinton through the years flash by. At one point, he sings, “Let’s smash this ceiling,” and takes a sledgehammer to a large glass panel spray-painted with “2016.”
Chavez, who worked as a field organizer for Clinton’s 2008 campaign, said that he was inspired to start the super PAC by his wife and 32-year-old daughter, who are both also huge Clinton fans.
“She motivates my daughter to look for greater avenues to have a voice — that kind of inspiration is priceless,” he said.
Chavez said he also supports groups such as Ready for Hillary, but wanted to have his own venture.
“I’m pretty independent in how I like to work,” he said. “We just thought we could control our message.”
The operatives behind some of the other new Clinton-themed groups remain a mystery.
On its website, Blue Answer calls itself “a rapid-response communications PAC” set up by “a team of experienced marketing and communications professionals” to “combat the lies being spread by the conservative media.”
Its only apparent project is “Hillary Today” — a page featuring a large photo of Clinton and a request for supporters to donate between $20 and $500.
“Your contribution will be used to reach thousands of people and to help get Hillary elected,” says a statement on the donation page.
The super PAC’s treasurer, Jennifer May, declined to comment on who is running the group and what it plans to do. Blue Answer’s founders did not respond to requests for comment The Washington Post relayed through May.
Blue Answer appears to be trying to fashion itself as a version of Correct the Record, a project of the Democratic super PAC American Bridge.
Adrienne Elrod, a spokeswoman for Correct the Record, declined to comment on the new group.
“Organizations in support of Hillary Clinton and her vision of how to move our country forward have come together organically in an unprecedented and united front,” she said in a statement. “The right wing has certainly made early and intense efforts to dissuade her from running, because they know that Hillary Clinton’s focus on advancing the middle class and moving our country forward is one that excites Americans.”
A large share of the early super PAC activity hasn't sprung from Clinton's supporters -- it's being driven by the deep animosity on the right toward the former Secretary of State. A new group, Veterans Against Hillary, was formed on Nov. 25, set up by a well-known GOP political compliance firm based in Georgia.
“There is nothing better for the conservative movement than Hillary Clinton, because she is such a robustly disliked character,” said Dan Backer, a Republican campaign finance attorney who is helping run one of the biggest anti-Clinton groups, Stop Hillary PAC.
The super PAC, which formed last year, has raised $1 million so far and says it has a database of 600,000 activists.
“Our whole focus has been to build a massive digital army to keep her from getting the nomination or winning the election,” Backer said.