ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- With a presidential campaign launch imminent, Hillary Clinton will use her last scheduled paid speech to reconnect with an old friend and political ally on his turf – summer camps.
Jay Jacobs, who owns several New York State summer camps, was one of Clinton’s key supporters when the then-first lady decided on a run for Senate in 2000, and he's been a loyal donor and supporter since.
The Democratic party boss of Nassau County, Long Island, Jacobs also joined the Democratic National Committee in 2013. “My loyalty is no secret. If [Clinton] asked, I would be in her corner in a heartbeat,” he told Newsday on Monday.
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Jacobs serves on the DNC’s credentialing committee, which had to moderate the messy dispute between the campaigns of Clinton and Barack Obama during the 2008 primary over the seating of Democratic delegates from states that broke DNC rules by holding their primaries too early.
But on Thursday, Clinton will be in Jacobs’ corner, giving the keynote address to a gathering of 3,000 summer camp professionals. Jacobs will moderate a Q&A discussion after her prepared remarks. Clinton may also recognize some of the New York camp professionals in attendance form her eight years representing the state in the Senate.
Jacobs, who also served as New York State Democratic chairman, bought his first summer camp at 25 and has split his time as camp leader and political powerbroker ever since.
Last month, he spent an hour with President Obama in a small discussion group during the DNC’s winter meeting, as he tweeted.
Thursday’s event, where fleeces vastly outnumber power suits and vendors sell giant inflatable structures and arts and crafts supplies in the room adjacent to where Clinton is speaking, is not a typical political venue. But it’s the kind event with which Clinton has filled her time since stepping down as secretary of state.
She’s spoken to bankers and tech professionals, as well as more off-the-beaten path trade groups like scrap metal recyclers (where she dodged a shoe), with speaking fees up to $300,000 a pop. But this is Clinton’s last scheduled paid speech before a second presidential campaign launch, expected sometime next month.
She has two more public appearances Monday in Washington, D.C., but otherwise a mostly blank calendar.
Still, another paid gig is always possible. Last week, Clinton quietly flew to Silicon Valley the day after her United Nations press conference to given an unannounced paid speech at eBay.