Clinton Insiders: Hillary Needs $100 Million

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will need to raise $100 million over the next 20 months if she hopes to clear the field of serious Democratic challengers

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PETE MAROVICH / EPA

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepares to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 23, 2013.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will need to raise $100 million over the next 20 months if she hopes to clear the field of serious Democratic challengers, top Democratic operatives say.

“I would think you’d want an eye popping number to clear the field,” said one senior Democratic official. “I think the $100 million commitment would say to potential opponents ‘think before you jump to your death.’”

Clinton herself does not have to raise the cash to clear the field of effective rivals, explains one Clinton insider, “If a super PAC raises $75 million to $125 million in the next two years, that’s formidable and it indicates that there is really strong support [for her].”

(MORE: Hillary Clinton Reemerges Amid 2016 Rumors)

Clinton remains among the best-regarded figures in American politics and any potential rival would be forced to spend massive amounts of time and money to compete. But Clinton insiders say she won’t leave anything to chance if she runs, and in preparation, neither are they.

In the first quarter of 2007 Clinton reported a fundraising total of $36 million, including a $10 million transfer from her Senate campaign. She was ahead of then-Sen. Barack Obama, but not by much — he had raised nearly $26 million, almost entirely from individual donors.

Now, Clinton backers and Democratic operatives agree she or allies would need to raise multiples of that figure to clear the field of serious challengers in 2016 — and a year earlier. More than a half-dozen senior Democratic officials and Hillary confidants puts the goal at roughly $100 million by the end of 2014, a marker no other Democrat could approach so soon.

“We’ve learned our lesson,” said the Clinton insider.

Supporters are ready to begin fundraising through the super PAC Ready For Hillary. “I’ve told her supporters — get a super PAC and raise a ton of money,” said one top Obama campaign adviser. “That’s how you clear the field.”

And Democrats believe Clinton has the luxury of waiting until mid-2015 to pull the trigger on a presidential run.

“If she announced today she’d probably drop 20 points,” the Clinton insider said. “That’s why she waits, and that’s why the super PAC helps — she can build without being seen.”

(WATCH: Hillary Clinton Announces Support for Gay Marriage)

Not since 1951 has there been such a strong draft movement in either from the grassroots to the donor class. And unlike with Eisenhower, Clinton confidants are giving their blessing to the effort.

“[Ready for Hillary] in my view is extraordinarily credible,” said the Clinton insider. “It has only Secretary Clinton’s interest at heart.” Former adviser James Carville lent his name to the super PAC for use in a fundraising email last week and fundraiser Harold Ickes is advising the group.

A $100 million goal is now well within reach thanks in part to the Citizens United decision allowing unlimited personal and corporate donors to independent groups.

“This super PAC can line up some major donors and also organize the grassroots — throw some surrogates in and it’s easy,” said one Democratic strategist.

Asked if the target can be hit, the Clinton insider replied simply, “yes.”

One adviser to a potential rival put the figure far lower: “Her entrance into the race all but clears the field,” the adviser said.

MORE: Hillary Clinton to Deliver First Paid Remarks

84 comments
WWFFD
WWFFD

Hillary, as usual, will get pushed aside in the end.  I feel bad for her.

Cuabs04
Cuabs04

@TIME So, politicians need copious amounts of money to stay ahead in the polls...to hell with our politicians and the system they abuse

Saffta
Saffta

@TIME @TIMESwampland Seriously? It seems to me she has already done that. She can get free media every time she makes an appearance

rctu77
rctu77

@TIME 100 million would house a lot of homeless ppl

JudgeIyke
JudgeIyke

@oluseyiobafemi Oya na! Unless Obama flops really bad and the GOP come out with someone really captivating, she will have the White House.

Kevin Walli
Kevin Walli

She will. I will gladly give to Hillary so that she wins in 2016.

Arttai
Arttai

Show me one example of a "woman of" that made a good head of state.

melonheadx13
melonheadx13

bill has more than that and she could get $100 in short order.

NicholeHoward18
NicholeHoward18

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wakeford2
wakeford2

Let us just wait and see how popular Democrats are after the full brunt of Obamacare kicks in. When the majority of "middle-class" enters the "poverty level". The second Amendment is eliminated. Along with the "First". But hey, can she really be as bad as the doofus in the white house now? Really?

collioure
collioure

Nothing Hillary has done convinces me she would be a good President.

Come to think of it, what has she accomplished in an executive position?

David Borg
David Borg

No more Lady Clinton. Boycott The woman now obsolete which has helped to deliver the world to the Global Crisis. Please Pension for Lady now. Who wants She back is out of the History and wish the ruin of the USA.

Companybusiness
Companybusiness

did hillary raising gobbs of money in 2007-2008 keep others from running the last time? and why should she want them too, most pundints would claim that the protracted primary campaign in 2008 actually helped obama in november. 

also if you look at the field in 2007-2008 it was one of the most talented presidential fields in recent history which included senators, govenors, blacks, hispanics, women, etc. 

also hillary isn't running, all of this bluster is pundints bored for a story until next spring and the midterms.

your candidates for 2016 are deval patrick and jeb bush.

Jesús Eduardo
Jesús Eduardo

100 mil? "Hey, guys, look! It's the next Rothschild puppet, it's a gal, dudes!" D:

Auntianne
Auntianne

Seriously can we imagine what $100 Million would do for this country !! Now ask your self  how much is it going to cost the other candidates ? Now think what the rest of the world thinks about us . Where oh where does all this money end up in whose pockets............ 

Hillary is an excellent candidate and I am sure there will be  more but why do we have to buy our politicians.............

Cara Davis
Cara Davis

....she could do that in a week.

Barry Kyle
Barry Kyle

I hope they keep their feet on the ground. Its a long way until 16. Part of me wants her not to run. She deserves to rest. But she's the best and only shot of a woman Pres in my lifetime.

Jeff Vanderbilt
Jeff Vanderbilt

If lamestreet media would vet her, she wouldn't even bother!

Asad Wahab
Asad Wahab

She is going to take it out of Taxpayers pocket by force, may be by engaging them in sort of war or just spreading the fear of war! That's how US politics survive!

Darcy Hocker
Darcy Hocker

What happened to the days where candidates ran on integrity and moral value and not on who can fundraise the most?

Zika Dojave
Zika Dojave

Type Zivota tips and add this guy,he brought me big money. Go to his profile and see,he won again today. I recommend him to everyone I can because he helped me a lot,contact him,this man knows how to bet!

Claudia Fortier
Claudia Fortier

Have a billionaire cough it up and then we will vote her in.

sachi_bbsr
sachi_bbsr

Really? Money can be EVERYTHING?

How come all her name recognition and Clinton cachet did not matter much and Obama came out of nowhere and zooooomed past her?

I look forward to Elizabeth Warren taking the presidential plunge in 2015 and small donors will do the trick as they did for Obama.

Only worry is H. Clinton will try to co-opt Ms. Warren as her VP.

@sachi_bbsr

http://explainingindia.blogspot.in/


Arttai
Arttai

Margaret Tacher and Golda Meir were not a woman of no one when it came to politics, Queen Elizabeth came from a line of Queens and kings so that is a different standard, Benazir Bhutto was dimissed for corruption without any noticeable achevement, India would emerge as a major economic power only after Indira Gandhi unprecedented centralisation of power and rule by state of emergency gave way to liberalization and openning of the economy.

collioure
collioure

@Arttai 

And we shouldn't forget Queen Elizabeth either, a pillar of the Western world for 60 years now.

collioure
collioure

@Arttai 

Excuse me, but one of the greatest of all time just passed away.

Margaret Thatcher

melonheadx13
melonheadx13

@wakeford2 rave on nut job.  you have entered the republican twilight zone where obama's black army of kenyan muslims are as i write marching to take your guns and bibles. the chemtrails, the fema camps, black helicopters, and the lizard people are real.  head to your bunker and await instructions from the NRA resistance.

SukieTawdry
SukieTawdry

@collioure 

What has she accomplished in a legislative position? What did she accomplish as First Lady of the US? What did she accomplish as First Lady of Arkansas? What did she accomplish as an attorney?

She was elected to the Senate twice and appointed Secretary of State. That's about it.


lump1
lump1

@Auntianne Yeah, get $100 Million and you're almost a third of the way there to buying a fighter plane!

collioure
collioure

@SukieTawdry @collioure 

Well, to be fair, her colleagues thought her a good Senator. 

However, as co-President 1993-94 she just about ruined her husband's Presidency.  All those scandals were hers, and the 80-some unnecessary deaths at Waco were on her watch as she oversaw Justice at that time.

Her 2008 campaign lost a nomination that was hers to win.  Even with all the wisdom she should have gained I still don't know if she can effectively manage anything.  The book "Game Change" detailed the major Presidential primary and election camapigns;  only Obama's was admirable.  Hers was a disaster.

Sec of State?  She traveled a lot, but I don't see any accomplishments such as the Good Friday agreements pursued by George Mitchell which eventually borught a measure of peace to Northern Ireland.