Ready for Hillary throws two Philly fundraisers

At Bryn Mawr College, Hillary Clinton speaks at an international women's conference on July 9, 2013. ( APRIL SAUL / Staff )

Hillary Clinton’s presidential stalking horse will be taking on oats and water Thursday evening in Center City Philadelphia.

Two receptions spearheaded by Team Kessler – father Alan and son Dan – are scheduled to raise money for Ready for Hillary, the Super PAC that is building a campaign-in-waiting for the former first lady, senator and secretary of state, if she runs for president in 2016. Clinton is not officially running for anything yet, but a White House bid is considered inevitable.

“She hasn’t decided to be a candidate,” Alan Kessler said. “It’s real – those around her are trying to give her breathing space, but Clintonites don’t want her to lose a step if she decides to get in.”

The first event is at 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Morris Restaurant, 30 South 17th St., a traditional reception expected to draw 100 people contributing from $1,000 to $5,000 each for the cause. The goal is to raise $100,000 for Ready; Alan Kessler, working with co-host Ken Jarin, said he is confident that target will be exceeded.

At 6:30 p.m., a party for young professionals gets underway at the nightclub G Lounge, 111 South 17th St. Tickets are $20.16 a person, and more than 200 are expected to attend the event, organized by Dan Kessler and a host committee of 30.

“This event is to start getting the millenials excited,” said Dan Kessler, a recent college graduate who works in the investment department of Brandywine Realty Trust. “I just want to help mobilize a movement here.”

Ready for Hillary last week convened a strategy session in Des Moines that brought together the various strands of the Democratic coalition in Iowa, site of the nation’s first nominating contest. It has hosted fundraisers in Washington, New York, San Francisco as well as in smaller locales around the country.

The general idea is not to raise big bucks, but to gather and solidify a network of supporters, with an eye toward avoiding the more top-down approach of Clinton’s 2008 campaign. The money goes to “underwrite the building of the infrastructure,” Alan Kessler said.

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