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Hillary 2016 gets massive backing

The largest liberal Super PAC in the country is ready for Hillary.
Hillary Clinton greets wellwishers after receiving the 2013 Lantos Human Rights Prize in Washington, Dec. 6, 2013.
Hillary Clinton greets wellwishers after receiving the 2013 Lantos Human Rights Prize in Washington, Dec. 6, 2013.

The nation’s largest liberal super PAC has started raising money in support of Hillary Clinton’s possible presidential bid, putting the political machine in place to smooth the path to the Democratic nomination well before most voters have begun thinking about 2016.

Priorities USA Action announced on Thursday that it has tapped former Obama campaign manager Jim Messina and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm to co-chair the super PAC and its non-profit arm. The New York Times was first to report the news.

“We couldn’t be more proud and excited to be joined by Jim Messina and Governor Granholm, whose leadership and political acumen will be invaluable in our effort to elect a Democratic president in 2016,” Priorities USA Action executive director Buffy Wicks said in a statement. “We are here to make sure that progressive values are not drowned out by right-wing organizations, and that the necessary resources are in place to give the middle class a voice in the 2016 election.”

The super PAC's moves mark a massive shift in relations between the Clinton and Obama camps from the bitter primary battles of 2008, as establishment Democrats and their wealthiest donors look to keep control of the White House. Messina remains chairman of Organizing for Action, an advocacy group spawned by Obama's 2012 campaign. Granholm has been a vocal supporter of a run by the former secretary of state.

More than two years before the election, Priorities USA isn't even the first to start building reserves for a Clinton run. The Ready for Hillary super PAC was founded in January 2013, only two months after Obama was re-elected.

The Times also reported that Priorities has not yet made it clear whether it will use funds it raises during the primary season. As more support coalesces around high profile candidates like Clinton, runs by lesser known Democrats will face longer odds and tougher fundraising challenges.

Priorities spent $67 million on ads attacking 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney.