U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton waits to answer questions from reporters in Durham, NH., Sept. 18, 2015.
Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

Ex-Clinton super PAC official to publish insider account


A former official with the now defunct Ready for Hillary super PAC is finalizing a book about his experience with the group that laid the groundwork for Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s campaign, MSNBC has learned.

Seth Bringman was the first employee of Ready for Hillary after it formed in early 2013, and served as communication director for the next two years. He was intimately involved in the super PAC’s operations and interactions with other Democratic players. Bringman is the first Clinton-world operative to publish a personal account of the 2016 cycle.

Bringman would not comment for the record other than to confirm basic details, nor would he say how much his book will delve into internecine fights between the various orbits in the Clinton universe that marked the early months of the PAC’s existence. The Clinton campaign declined to comment.

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The self-published book, due out in several weeks, will give a rare look inside a high-profile political group’s successes — as well as offer portraits of Clinton supporters across the country, along with tales from Bringman’s travels to 45 states on the group’s “Hillary bus,” according to a source who reviewed an initial draft. 

Bringman, 34, was the communications director for the Ohio Democratic Party and political consultant in the state before joining Ready for Hillary. He also worked in Clinton’s research department on her 2008 campaign. 

When Ready for Hillary formed shortly after Clinton stepped down as secretary of state, it seemed to do so out of nowhere from the perspective of many former Clinton aides and allies. Founded by a junior 2008 campaign aide and a professor with ties to the former secretary of state, Ready for Hillary initially caused some confusion among more senior figures.

Critics worried the group would siphon donors away from other efforts, or that it was building expectations too high too early for a 2016 president run. Others dismissed it as a fan club, with some disparaging it to reporters.

But with apparent tacit approval from Clinton herself, the super PAC grew and eventually gained credibility with the addition of veteran Clinton operatives. It went on raise over $15 million, build a list of more than 4 million supporters, and lock down endorsements from dozens of top Democratic elected officials. It was credited with building enthusiasm for Clinton’s eventual bid, and it shut down as the official campaign ramped up.

There’s a long history of former political staffers writing tell-all books about their former bosses or campaigns they worked on. Former Mark Sanford speechwriter Barton Swaim recently published an exposé on the disgraced former South Carolina governor who’s now a congressman. George Stephanopoulos wrote an explosive book about his time as Bill Clinton’s press secretary before launching a successful career in media.

Others, like Obama lieutenants David Plouffe and David Axelrod, have written more positive “how we won” memoirs.

But regardless of the genre, it’s unusual for such a book to come out in the middle of a presidential campaign. 

Bringman now works as a public relations consultant in Columbus, Ohio. The book, tentatively titled, “Ready for Hillary: A Movement,” will be available on Amazon soon.