Comparing Donald Trump‘s campaign staff to Hillary Clinton‘s is like comparing an alfalfa sprout to a redwood. While Trump is happy to rely on a skeletal staff (whom he doesn’t always pay), Clinton is running a high-powered machine with approximately ten times as many staffers as Trump. When it comes to LGBTQ support, the disparity is even greater. Trump’s gay supporters can easily fit in a restaurant booth and are noteworthy for not looking anything like the rest of the community. Clinton’s gay supporters are far more numerous, pegged at 84% in one poll.
Clinton’s campaign reflects those numbers in its staff, including the most powerful positions in the campaign. But it’s not just the campaign staff pulling for the candidate.
Here’s a rundown of seven people (or, in one case, group of bros) both in and outside the campaign, angling for Clinton’s election…
Clinton chose Mook last year to be her campaign manager, and true to his reputation, he’s run a drama-free shop. Even as Clinton’s lead has been shrinking in the polls, Mook has been focused on the Election Day ground game. “We expect it to tighten even further,” Mook told the Washington Post. “That’s why we built a robust campaign in all 50 states, but especially in the battleground states.” Mook is trying to duplicate the data-driven efforts that put Obama over the top in 2008 and 2012. Should he succeed, he will likely have a choice position among the inner circle in a Clinton White House.
Helping Mook in the campaign is a long-time colleague, Heather Stone. Stone, who is among the staffers featured in the campaign’s Pride Video, serves as the operation’s chief of staff. In that role, Stone is responsible for making sure that the various departments within the campaign work well together. It’s a behind-the-scenes position, but one with a lot of influence. Stone had previously served as deputy national political director at the Service Employees International Union, which may have helped Clinton secure the 2 million-member union’s endorsement last November.
Brock started his political career as a hatchet man for the right wing in the 1990s, trying to tie the Clintons to all sorts of nefarious activities. Now he’s a hatchet man for Clinton, running a super PAC, Correct the Record, that coordinates with the campaign. Brock’s conversion came, he says, when he realized that all his conservative peers were homophobes. (His critics say that explanation is more convenient than true.) Say what you will about his motivations, Brock goes after the right with the same gusto that he went after the Clinton’s 20 years ago. One example: Brock is offering a $1 million reward for anyone who can come forward with dirt on Donald Trump.
Lowell serves at the Clinton campaign’s LGBT liaison. You would think this would be a slam-dunk position, but Lowell has had his share of grief, most notably when his boss suggested that Nancy Reagan was a great advocate for AIDS causes. Lowell was on the receiving end of a lot of irate phone calls from people old enough to remember a far different reality. Clinton quickly apologized and was just as quickly forgiven, but the episode served as a reminder that Lowell still has to deal with friendly fire.
Craig got her start in 2008 as a field organizer for Clinton’s campaign, just a year after she graduated from Smith. Now she’s chief of staff for field operations for the whole campaign. Another friend of Mook’s, Craig usually arrives at the campaign’s Brooklyn headquarters before 7 a.m. to coordinate multiple projects and keep things moving in the right direction. Craig epitomizes the campaign’s reliance on young staffers, who will continue to play a significant role in Democratic politics long after this election is over.
You’ve probably never heard of Cheng, but he has one of the key positions in Clinton’s campaign: as finance director, he’s the man responsible for fundraising. Cheng has a reputation for being disciplined and detail-oriented, qualities that were in short supply in Clinton’s first presidential campaign. Cheng worked on that race, and then followed Clinton to the State Department and ultimately the Clinton Foundation, where he was the development office. came to this race via the Clinton Foundation, where he served as Cheng is just one of several out staffers working on the finance side of the campaign. For example, Aditi Hardikar, who was the Obama administration’s LGBT liaison, is finance director for coalitions.
Bros4Hillary is an L.A.-based group with more than 11,000 members, or about 11,000 more than its counterpart, Twinks for Trump, has. Although open to anyone, the Bros are mostly gay, as the shirtless hunks in their recruiting video attest to. Just in case you still had a question, you can join them at one their debate parties.
DeGeneres is probably the highest-profile out celebrity backing Clinton. She’s been a vocal supporter of Clinton for years, and is representative of Clinton’s deep Hollywood support. “I think you stand for everything that I want in a president,” Ellen told Clinton last January. DeGeneres may be a high-profile backer, but she’s hardly alone. Among Clinton’s other entertainment industry supporters are Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer, Rosie O’Donnell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Lee Daniels and Ricky Martin.
That’s in contrast to Trump’s band of has-beens, like Scott Baio and Antonio Sabato Jr.
Photo credit: Vincent Secrease via Twitter