Hillary Clinton will roll one new policy idea a week this summer, senior Clinton campaign officials said Friday on the eve of her big presidential campaign kick-off rally Saturday in New York City.
Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook and communications director Jennifer Palmieri spoke at a New York University event hosted by Politico’s Mike Allen, just ahead of her launch rally on Roosevelt Island.
The former secretary has been in a low-key ramp up phase over the past two months, but will begin to lay out more detailed policy ideas on economic issues like student loan reform and paid family leave.
“Welcome to the campaign,” Palmieri said of the new phase of the former first lady's 2016 presidential run.
One key unanswered question of the campaign is what role Bill Clinton will play. He has not been visible on the campaign trail, and told an interviewer recently that “my role should primarily be as a backstage adviser.” While he will be on hand for the rally Saturday, he is not expected to speak.
“We're going to be leaning on him for fundraising, we’re going to be leaning on him for retail, we’re going to be leaning on him for strategic advice,” Palmieri said. Notably not included is speeches, at least for now. Bill Clinton has encouraged Clinton’s team to think about the campaign as a job interview, she added.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, who has become a national progressive leader, is not attending Clinton’s rally in what many are interpreting as a snub. Mook said de Blasio “is a very good friend” and downplayed the mayor’s no-show. “He has a lot going on running New York City, so he's busy with that,” the campaign manager said.
Palmieri sought to kill de Blasio with kindness, along Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Clinton's Democratic primary challengers. “He is an important progressive voice. We have two other candidates on the Democratic side who have been strong progressive voices,” she said. “This is all ultimately for the good,” she said of challenges from the left.
The officials also said they loved Kate McKinnon’s power-hungry parody of Hillary Clinton on "Saturday Night Live." “We love it,” Palmieri said. “And we may even imitate it." Might Clinton host SNL one day? “The idea has merit,” she added, saying the decision was up to the show.
The communications director also promised better access for reporters going forward, saying Clinton will make it her habit to take questions every other day she’s campaigning in early nominating states like Iowa and New Hampshire. She also said the campaign will try to limit it’s use of so-called background quotes, when officials cannot be named.