Huffpost Politics
Samantha Lachman Headshot

Ready For Hillary's LGBT Kickoff Event Stirs Clinton Presidential Buzz

Posted: Updated:

WASHINGTON -- Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hasn't even announced that she'll run for president in 2016, but that hasn't stopped one super PAC from drumming up support for her. Ready for Hillary held an "Out and Ready for Hillary" fundraiser Wednesday night at Town Danceboutique, a gay nightclub in Washington, D.C.

Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, the lead plaintiffs in the U.S. Supreme Court case that overturned California's same-sex marriage ban, spoke at the event.

"The movement ends with marriage equality across the entire United States," Stier said. The couple were married in June in California.

"What's remarkable about [Clinton] is how she's a leader on so many issues," Perry added.

Supporters at Wednesday's event skewed heavily male, with only a few dozen women in attendance, based on an informal survey of the crowd. A spokesman for the group said that nearly 300 paid the $20.16 admission price.

"I think Hillary is an extraordinary woman, politician and human rights activist," said Judy Beck, 64, a government contractor living in Arlington, Va., adding that Clinton "is the president we need."

In an interview with ABC's Barbara Walters in December, Clinton said she hadn't yet made up her mind on a presidential run. She told Walters her announcement would come "sometime" in 2014.

Casey Ryan, a 23-year-old fundraising consultant, said Clinton ran a good campaign in 2008, albeit with some "slip-ups."

"There's no doubt in my mind she'll run," Ryan said, while waiting in line to have his photo taken with a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Clinton.

It was also noted on stage at the event that Clinton marched in New York City's LGBT pride parade in 2000 during her U.S. Senate campaign.

Brian Lombardo, a 22-year-old government contractor, said he appreciated Clinton "coming out for the LGBT community."

"I think she's burnished her reputation by being secretary of State. If there's going to be a woman in the White House, it's going to be her. There's no other female as competitive as her," Lombardo said. "There are so many different minority groups here, and she hasn't even declared her candidacy yet."

"And hello, she's fierce," Ryan added.

Ready for Hillary announced earlier this month that it raised more than $4 million in 2013 from more than 33,000 donors. In December the group hosted its D.C. launch event, and earlier this month one of the group's senior advisers traveled to New Hampshire to meet with local politicians.

"We were there to introduce ourselves. The main objective was to learn from local supporters about how best to build off our organization's energy and enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton in the state. We also met with labor leaders and political leaders," said Seth Bringman, Ready for Hillary's communications director.

Bringman said that the group is planning more grassroots fundraising events (all with a $20.16 ticket price) across the country, as well as organizing meetings to "get folks invested with the organization and grow our list of supporters as much as possible."

Michelle Clunie, an actress on Showtime's "Queer as Folk," also addressed the crowd at the Wednesday event.

"We have to show up for [Clinton], we have to show her we're here for her," Clunie said. "She will go down as the greatest president in history."

"What? That's a bold statement," remarked one event attendee. "Better than Lincoln?!"

"Maybe she's saying [Clinton will] emancipate the gays?" another attendee joked.

Related on HuffPost:

Close
Hillary Clinton
of
Share
Tweet
Advertisement
Share this
close
Current Slide

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Ready for Hillary event draws packed house | Washington Blade ...

Ready for Hillary group hosts Town event | Washington Blade | gay ...

Ready for Hillary to Host 'Out & Ready for Hillary' Event Wednesday ...

'Super PAC' Gets Early Start on Pushing for a 2016 Clinton Campaign

Potential Presidential Candidates Already Gearing Up For 2016 Election