Hillary Clinton may be months away from making a decision about a 2016 presidential bid, but she’s already playing a central role in a Virginia congressional race. There, Democrats are hoping to stop a “professional Clinton hater” from gaining a seat in Congress where she could attack the potential presidential candidate and, perhaps one day, a sitting president.
House Majority PAC, an outside group that supports Democrats in the lower chamber, is rolling out a new ad Monday encouraging voters to “stand with Hillary” by rejecting Barbara Comstock, who once worked as an investigator for congressional Republicans during the Clinton administration.
The Democratic super PAC’s new 30-second web spot, backed by a $25,000 online advertising buy, calls Comstock “stalker-like” and “hell bent on smearing Hillary Clinton.” “Almost unhinged in her passion to bring down the Clintons, now Comstock’s itching to take on the Clintons again,” the narrator warns.
The ad concludes by encouraging viewers to “fight back” by visiting StandingWithHillary.com.
A Georgetown-educated lawyer, Comstock was a talented and tenacious sleuth for the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, and a thorn in the side of the Clinton White House. Former colleagues recall her regularly working until 4 a.m. while digging into scandals.
Now a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and with support from bold-faced national Republicans like Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, Comstock has indicated a desire to dive into a new generation of alleged Clinton wronging. “We need to get to the bottom of the truth in Benghazi, and I will do that because I’ve done that before as a chief investigator in Congress,” she recently said at the state’s Republican convention, according to Politico.
Democrats want to stop her from getting the chance. “If Barbara Comstock makes it to Congress, it is clear she intends to use the institution to further her unhealthy obsession with attacking Hillary Clinton,” said Matt Thornton, Communications Director for House Majority PAC. “Regardless of Clinton’s political future, Virginians deserve a representative who will focus on them, not a long-standing political vendetta.”
While Clinton has been used as a cudgel in several Republican ads this year, this appears to mark the first time a major Democratic organization has deployed would-be President Hillary Clinton in a campaign ad.
Comstock's opponent in the slightly Republican-leaning district is Democrat John Foust, a Fairfax County supervisor. As a super PAC, House Majority PAC is legally prohibited from coordinating with candidates, and a Clinton spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment.