Former Obama campaign aides join ‘Ready for Hillary’ draft effort

Two former Obama campaign aides are joining the effort to support a potential 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential bid.

Mitch Stewart, who coordinated President Obama’s 2012 battleground state strategy, and Jeremy Bird, the Obama campaign’s national field director, have joined Ready for Hillary, the super-PAC formed at the beginning of the year to support a Clinton presidential run.

"Ready for Hillary has sought out the most talented people in the business to harness the energy of everyday Hillary supporters and lay the groundwork for 2016," Ready for Hillary senior adviser Craig T. Smith said in a statement. "There is no one that better understands grassroots presidential politics than the team that won the last two presidential elections."

Stewart and Bird are the latest Obama loyalists to join Ready for Hillary. Last month, two top donors to the pro-Obama super-PAC Priorities USA, who combined to donate more than $5 million to Democrats in the last election, signed on as founding members of Ready for Hillary’s national finance council.

The former Obama teamers join a number of longtime Clinton allies in the Ready for Hillary effort, including Bill Clinton’s former White House Political Director Craig Smith; former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.); Harold Ickes, a senior adviser on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run; former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D); and EMILY's List founder Ellen Malcolm.

Last month, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) became the first sitting lawmaker to endorse the draft effort.

The group does not have any formal ties with Hillary Clinton, who has not said if she will run in 2016. Polls though show she is the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination.

This story was updated at 8:13 a.m.

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