Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign will look little like her 2008 bid, if her campaign manager has anything to do with it.
On the eve of her expected presidential campaign launch Sunday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign team-in-waiting met at her brand new Brooklyn headquarters for a final pre-game briefing, where campaign manager-designate Robby Mook distributed a memo outlining the campaign’s mission.
The simple one-page memo, first reported by Politico and obtained by msnbc, lays out the purposes, goals, and guiding principles of Clinton’s campaign under the heading: “We Are Hillary for America.” The memo was written by Mook, but included input from a wide range of advisers.
The memo lays out a strategy that emphasizes teamwork and humility, two qualities in short supply during her last campaign, and delivers an overriding message borrowed from Barack Obama’s campaigns: No drama allowed.
The memo states that the campaign’s purpose is to give every American “a path to lasting prosperity.” “This campaign is not about Hillary Clinton and not about us – it’s about the everyday Americans who are trying to build a better life for themselves and their families,” the document reads.
The goal is simple: Get Clinton enough delegates to secure the Democratic nomination and then win 270 electoral votes to become president.
The “guiding principles” are clearly aimed at avoiding repeats of Clinton’s failed 2008 campaign.
Whereas Clinton’s first presidential bid was marked by toxic internal divisions, Mook makes it clear he expects staff to work together.
His first bullet point: “We are a team: we are committed to helping each other succeed to deliver on our core purpose.” It continues: “We are a diverse, talented family: we work together, empower and respect each other, and have each other’s backs, especially our volunteers.”
Another bullet reads: “We are open to a diverse range of views: When we disagree, it’s never personal. Once a decision is made, we execute it—together.”
And whereas Clinton’s first presidential bid was seen as hubristic and projected inevitability, this campaign will embrace modesty. “We are humble: we take nothing for granted, we are never afraid to lose, we always out-compete and fight for every vote we can,” the memo reads.
Clinton’s 2008 campaign was spendthrift and doled out huge salaries to top aides before Clinton ran out of money and had to loan her campaign millions of dollars. Mook, like the frugal New Englander he is, will have none of that. “We are responsible: we always remember and appreciate the generosity of millions of people who invest their time and resources in Hillary Clinton and in us,” the memo continues.
The document also reveals the name of the campaign: “Hillary for America.” It strikes a decidedly more informal and less Clinton-centric tone than her first presidential campaign’s initiation name, “Hillary Clinton for President.” That name reflected Clinton’s stated goal in her 2007 announcement video, “I’m in it to win it,” which made the campaign about her political ambitions.
Clinton’s campaign is expected to launch officially with a video Sunday laying out the former secretary of state’s vision for an economy that works for everyone.
Clinton also got an unexpected boost Saturday night from President Obama, who was asked about her impending presidential bid during a press conference in Panama for the Summit of the Americas.
“She was a formidable candidate in 2008,” Obama said. “She was a great supporter of mine in the general election. She was an outstanding secretary of state. She is my friend. I think she would be an excellent president. And I’m not on the ballot.”
“She was focused and working on really important foreign policy initiatives,” Obama added, noting that Clinton’s diplomatic experience. “And her track record with respect to domestic policy is one that cares about working families.”
“If she decides to run,” he concluded, “she’s going to have some strong messages to deliver.”