Two top advisers to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are visiting the key early states of New Hampshire and Iowa this week in what Democrats who plan to meet with them describe as discussions laying the groundwork for her campaign launch in the coming weeks.
Clinton's expected campaign manager, Robby Mook, and Marlon Marshall, a top political aide on Clinton's team, started their meetings in the Granite State late Monday and will hold more conversations on Tuesday in Manchester and Concord. They're spending the night in the homes of Clinton supporters and are being joined by Mike Vlacich, who is slated to be Clinton's New Hampshire state director.
Mook and Marshall will conduct a similar round of meetings in Iowa on Wednesday night and Thursday, making stops in Des Moines, Iowa City, and Cedar Rapids. There, they'll be joined by expected Iowa state director Matt Paul, a former aide to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a former governor of Iowa.
They're meeting with Democratic officials and activists, as well as others from the labor and progressive communities, in an effort to show that Clinton and her team are determined to earn every vote toward the nomination, even as she prepares to enter the race as the overwhelming frontrunner.
A person familiar with the meetings described them as low-key and another Democrat who plans to attend one said plans just came together in the last few days.
"It's not dissimilar to what the Obama team did," said Jim Demers, a Clinton supporter who chaired Barack Obama's 2008 campaign in New Hampshire, who recalled meeting the then-senator's team in 2007 and again in 2011 ahead of the start of his reelection campaign. "I'm looking forward to hearing what he's thinking," Demers said.
Mook managed New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen's 2008 campaign and has many longtime friends in the state, including Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, who is also meeting with Clinton's team. WMUR and the Des Moines Register reported earlier on the visits.