By Anita Kumar
McClatchy Washington Bureau.
In a concrete high-rise across the river from the nation’s capital, the Hillary Clinton store is open for business.
There are aluminum ornaments, each adorned with a giant H, for Christmas, champagne flutes engraved with 2016 for New Year’s Eve and long-sleeved I love Hillary T-shirts with red hearts for Valentine’s Day, naturally.
And every day, there are iPhone covers, tote bags, lanyards, even Born Ready for Hillary onesies for the youngest family member.
Dog leashes are coming soon.
Ready for Hillary, the political action committee that hopes to lay the groundwork for a second presidential run, already has hawked 25,000 pieces of campaignlike paraphernalia, three years before Election Day, for someone who may not even run.
Kiki McLean, a senior adviser to Clinton’s campaign in 2008 who works for a Washington public relations firm, said the latest generation involved in politics had shown that it wouldn’t wait to be invited to participate.
“People are channeling their energy and enthusiasm,” she said.
The so-called Hillary store is tucked on the fifth floor of the group’s offices. White shelves filled with products line the walls, while dozens of shipments ready to be transported to the nearby post office sit on a table.
Occasionally, a customer will wander in to try on a shirt or make an exchange, but most purchases are made online.
It’s a little like Amazon, except shipping is always free and, of course, every product promotes Clinton.
Dick Harpootlian, a longtime Democratic activist in South Carolina who’s an ardent supporter of another potential candidate, Vice President Joe Biden, dismissed Ready for Hillary’s efforts, arguing that it’s way too early for organizations such as this, when Clinton hasn’t even decided to run.
“Maybe a fan club is appropriate for a boy band but not candidate for president of the United States,” he mocked.