I recently had the opportunity to interview political activist and author Seth Bringman. His book, Ready for Hillary: The Official, Inside Story of the Campaign Before the Campaign, tells the story behind Ready For Hillary, a grassroots SuperPAC founded by Hillary Clinton supporters in early 2013.
Jens: Let’s start with the basic information about your book— title, release date, where readers can buy it. Also include links to social media accounts where readers can find you.
Jens: Briefly describe the Ready For Hillary campaign. How did it get started? Why was it necessary to have a “campaign before the campaign”?
Seth: Ready for Hillary started up in February 2013, with just two volunteers (Adam Parkhomenko and Allida Black). I was honored to be the first staff member they hired. There was so much enthusiasm across the country for a potential Hillary Clinton candidacy. We didn’t want to lose the opportunity to get everyone organized and ready to go for 2016.
Jens: Describe your background in politics. When did you first become a Hillary supporter? What drew you to her?
Seth: I’ve been involved in campaign politics for more than a decade, particularly in my home state of Ohio, where campaigns are always very exciting. I have admired Hillary since I first started paying attention to politics during the 1992 campaign. She was smart, passionate, and determined, and I knew from the beginning that she was going to do big things for our country.
Jens: For you, what are the most important issues in the 2016 presidential race? Why do you think Hillary is the best candidate to tackle these issues?
Seth: Like Hillary, I come from a middle class family in the middle of America. So it’s always about the economy. The jobs numbers have improved tremendously under President Obama, but we still have to make a lot of progress when it comes to wages. Hillary has the right values, she understands the complexities of economic policy, and she has the ability to get things done.
Jens: What was your most exciting experience as part of the Ready For Hillary campaign?
Seth: All of the traveling I was able to do– whether that was going to early primary and caucus states to meet new and longtime Hillary supporters, or venturing across 45 states in the Hillary Bus. We have a vast, beautiful, and diverse country full of very interesting people!
Jens: The Hillary Bus played an integral role in the campaign. Do you have a “bus story” to share with the readers?
Seth: Oh, gosh there are so many. There’s an entire chapter dedicated to “Misadventures” on the Hillary Bus. I still can’t believe we drove that thing around the country. Here’s one story: I was driving through North Carolina and a pair of sheriff’s deputies pulled me over on the Interstate. I hadn’t been speeding and didn’t know what to expect. They were just bored and wanted to check out the Bus!
Jens: What made you decide to write this book? What was the writing process like for you?
Seth: I met so many dedicated Hillary supporters across the country who built a national grassroots movement from scratch. Nothing like Ready for Hillary had ever been done before. I wanted to make sure to honor the efforts and commitment of Hillary’s supporters by making sure they had their place in political history. It was a long, but very rewarding process. Lots of editing. I had so many stories and so much material, but weaving it into a coherent arc took a lot of effort!
Jens: What are your future political/writing goals?
Seth: There’s no telling where life will take you. Three years ago, I never could have imagined all of the opportunities I would have with Ready for Hillary. I enjoyed writing this book and will probably write one again. I’d like to write about how the Democratic Party can win over Middle America.
Jens: Aside from Hillary, who has been a positive force in your life?