Schumer Gives Clinton Early Endorsement as Support Coalesces

Senator Charles Schumer endorsed Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination in an Iowa speech yesterday, more than two years before the state hosts the country’s first presidential caucuses.

“It’s time for a woman to be president,” New York Democrat Schumer said at the Iowa Democratic Party’s Jefferson Jackson dinner in Des Moines. “That’s why I am urging Hillary Clinton to run for president and, when she does, she will have my full and unwavering support.”

Clinton has quickly re-emerged on the national political scene since resigning as secretary of state in February. The former presidential candidate, U.S. senator and first lady has amassed a team of experienced aides, and a political action committee, Ready for Hillary, had raised $1.3 million on her behalf as of June 30, according to Federal Election Commission records.

In October, the political action committee announced the addition of billionaire investor George Soros to its national finance council, a group of donors who contribute or raise $25,000.

Schumer’s early endorsement of Clinton is another example of her coalescing political support.

While Clinton has not said whether she’s running, her involvement in the New York City-based Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Clinton Foundation is providing opportunity to meet with potential campaign donors and develop a policy platform. On Nov. 1, before an audience of 7,000 people, Clinton announced a new foundation initiative on women’s’ rights and empowerment.

Ready for Hillary

Among the attendees at the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual conference last month was Qualcomm Inc. co-founder Irwin Jacobs, who gave $25,000 to the Ready for Hillary group in June.

A Quinnipiac University poll conducted Sept. 23-29 found her comfortably ahead of potential Democratic rivals, with support from 61 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, compared with 11 percent for the next-ranking choice, Vice President Joe Biden.

“2015 is Hillary’s time,” Schumer said. “And our nation will be all the better for it.”

Schumer also used the Iowa speech to attack Tea Party Republicans for holding the nation “hostage” during last month’s budget standoff, which resulted in a two-week government shutdown.

“The American people know that the Tea Party drove the nation and the world to the brink of default, risking economic collapse,” Schumer said in a written copy of the speech. “They cruelly and needlessly put 800,000 people out of work and, in one fell swoop, the party that once obsessed on the term ‘job-creators’ had suddenly become the job annihilation party.”

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