An independent group urging Hillary Rodham Clinton to run for president in 2016 announced Tuesday that it raised more than $2.5 million in the second quarter of this year. This figure brings the "Ready for Hillary" Super PAC’s fundraising haul to $8.25 million over the 18 months it has been in existence.
The news comes as speculation continues to mount about whether Clinton will make a second bid for the White House, a decision she is not expected to announce until after the midterm elections in November.
Until then, every move she makes -- including paid speeches she has given and awards she has accepted since stepping down as secretary of State last year, her “Hard Choices” book tour that was widely viewed as a dry run for another presidential bid, and major media appearances, including one Tuesday night on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” – is being scrutinized for new clues about her decision-making process.
Ready for Hillary is one of a handful of independent efforts laying the groundwork for a second Clinton presidential run. Staffed by some operatives from her unsuccessful 2008 bid, the group is focused on building a national voter data file, recruiting volunteers and organizing in early electoral states such as Iowa, where her campaign faltered six years ago. It has received the backing of high-profile Clinton supporters, such as Sens. Tim Kaine of Virginia and Barbara Boxer of California.
The group has limited donations to $25,000, has hosted more than 500 events across the country and is raising money in myriad ways, including a gay and lesbian fundraiser earlier this year in West Hollywood that had the symbolic ticket cost of $20.16, a pricier lobbyist-hosted fundraiser in Washington the same month and a direct-mail campaign.
More than 90,000 donors have contributed, with 98% giving $100 or less.
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