by Paul Bowers
According to a Washington Post report on Tuesday, sources within the Democratic Party said that likely 2016 presidential contender Hillary Rodham Clinton had chosen political organizer Clay Middleton to run her South Carolina primary campaign.
Clinton hasn't officially announced her candidacy, and neither Middleton nor the Democratic Party have confirmed the report, but Middleton has had a long track record with progressive politics since growing up in Charleston. He served eight years on the staff of Rep. James Clyburn, South Carolina Democrats' heaviest hitter in Congress, and was also active in Barack Obama's first and second presidential campaigns. He served as Obama's state political director in 2008, when the then-senator from Illinois soundly defeated Clinton in the Democratic primary by a margin of 28 percentage points.
Middleton currently works as a special advisor in the U.S. Department of Energy, but he says he recently returned to Charleston for the birth of his first son, who was born this week.
Reached by phone, Middleton declined to comment on whether he would be working for Clinton's campaign, but when asked why he likes Clinton as a candidate, he gave the following response:
If she runs, I think she's doing it not because she doesn't have anything else to do or needs something to do. It would be because of her granddaughter Charlotte. I think that, should she run, she would run for everyday Americans, and she would be running on the vision she has for the 21st century that her granddaughter and the next generation of people would have to live with. Being a dad for the last two days, I'm more motivated now in public policy and politics to make sure that Jeremiah, my son, has a better world, a better community, that those that are elected and appointed officials make sound policy.
Middleton declined to comment on specific policy points of the potential Clinton campaign or on the recent controversy over Clinton's use of a private email account while serving as U.S. Secretary of State.