Former Gov. Granholm gets behind effort to draft Hillary Clinton in ’16

Former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D) is giving the pro-Clinton group Ready for Hillary a boost.

Granholm, a favorite of grassroots liberals and a longtime Clinton supporter, is lending her name to the organization’s first small-donor fundraising push since its creation.

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“I’m not just ready for Hillary — I’m rarin’ to get going on her campaign,” Granholm says in an email, which will likely be sent to supporters of the super-PAC Thursday afternoon. “This isn’t just about electing the first woman President, or putting forward our strongest candidate to keep the Republicans from enacting their extreme social agenda. We all know who the best person is for this job in 2016, and we need to do everything in our power to put her into office.”

She then asks for donations to the group.

Granholm is the latest high-level Democrat to embrace Ready for Hillary. She generated much buzz at last year’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., with a spirited speech defending President Obama. Earlier this year, she was rumored to be in the running for a Cabinet post in Obama’s second term.

Ready for Hillary was started earlier this year as a combination draft effort and grassroots organizing tool. The super-PAC will release its fundraising figures later this year.

The group’s founders are longtime Clinton loyalists who have helped on previous campaigns but aren’t in her inner circle.

But in recent weeks a number of Democrats who have closer ties to the Clintons have stepped in to help, including President Clinton’s former White House Political Director Craig Smith, former Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-Calif.), and Harold Ickes, a senior adviser on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential run.

Earlier in the week, Ellen Malcolm, the founder of the abortion-rights group EMILY’s List, offered her support to the super-PAC. James Carville, a senior Democratic strategist, has also sent an email on the group’s behalf.

“This is about building the grassroots army if she decides to run,” Smith, who joined the Clinton campaign late in the 2008 primary process, told The Hill.

He added, “There’s a lot of people out there that are trying to figure out what this group is and what it’s trying to do. So I pick up the phone and talk to some of the donors, some who were involved in 2008 or the Clinton-Gore effort, walking them through what ‘Ready for Hillary’ is and what it’s not, and try to get them involved.”

The group plans to roll out its finance committee list in the coming days and promises it includes some heavy-hitting Democrats who helped Clinton in 2008, as well as some who backed Obama and other candidates.