Obama, Clinton circles overlap in Democratic Party fundraising as donors eye 2014 and 2016

The Associated Press

President Barack Obama greets supporters on the tarmac upon his arrival on Air Force One, Tuesday, March 11, 2014, at JFK International Airport in New York. Obama traveled to New York for a pair of fundraisers for the Democrats. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

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If Clinton runs and wins the party's nomination in 2016, the DNC would serve as a platform of continuity between the Obama White House and a future Clinton campaign. The DNC already has plenty of Clinton connections. Committee members include Harold Ickes and Minyon Moore, both longtime advisers to Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton. One of its top fundraisers is Michael Kempner, a New Jersey public relations executive who served as co-chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2008 national finance committee and was a top fundraiser for Obama in 2012.

For many Clinton backers, the DNC is a natural place to offer help while the former New York senator mulls her future.

"It's a clear signal that the Clinton faction of the party is seeking to help the president any way possible," said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic strategist who advised Bill Clinton's campaigns. "Money is still the mother's milk of American politics."

The fundraiser is the latest in a series of steps that have helped bring together the Obama and Clinton camps after the bitterness of the 2008 primary fight.

A Democratic super PAC, Priorities USA Action, recently brought Jim Messina, Obama's 2012 campaign manager, on board to lead the group. It made clear that it will back Clinton if she seeks the nomination. The super PAC's executive director is Buffy Wicks, a former top Obama campaign staffer.

Ready for Hillary, a grassroots group aiming to lay the groundwork for a Clinton campaign, is advised by former Obama campaign aides Jeremy Bird and Mitch Stewart.


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