Hillary Rodham Clinton is cementing her support for a super PAC seeking massive contributions to advance her presidential bid, meeting with top donors to the group during a fundraising swing through California this week.
The former secretary of state sat down Wednesday with backers of the group, Priorities USA Action, in San Francisco and is set to do the same Thursday in Los Angeles, according to three people familiar with the sessions. The meetings were first reported by the New York Times.
Clinton’s first face-to-face wooing of the super PAC’s big-money contributors caps her embrace of Priorities USA, which initially struggled to bring in large sums as she took a hands-off approach to the enterprise. Her campaign chairman, John Podesta, also has committed to doing events for the super PAC, according to people with familiar with the discussions.
Although Clinton and her husband, former president Bill Clinton, have been expected to do fundraisers for Priorities USA, it was not until recently that she gave a clear signal that she wanted her supporters to bolster the super PAC.
The lack of an explicit endorsement worried Priorities USA fundraisers, who fretted that Clinton’s Republican rivals have been piling millions into their allied super PACs in the past few months.
In recent weeks, Clinton herself grew alarmed by the GOP’s money lead — particularly former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s super PAC fundraising juggernaut, according to people familiar with her thinking.
That propelled a flurry of activity around Priorities USA, which was originally launched to back President Obama’s reelection and had been refashioned into a pro-Clinton group, largely by DreamWorks Animation chief Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Democratic strategist Guy Cecil, who served as Clinton’s political director during her 2008 White House bid, is poised to take on a major role at the super PAC — a move meant to send a strong message that donors who want to help her should give to the group.