Hillary Clinton began conducting focus groups and polling swing state voters as early as December 2014 to figure out how to brand herself and find a “rationale” for running for president.
Nearly two years before the election, Clinton’s team circulated a timeline of research objectives for which the nascent campaign would spend $2 million on focus groups and surveys, according to recently released hacked emails.
A “fundamental question” was how to brand Hillary as either “Badass/hip,” or a “Grandma.”
“Attached is an updated summary of the research process and a budget,” Robby Mook, who would become Clinton’s campaign manager, emailed on Dec. 8, 2014. “I want to emphasize that THIS *WILL* CHANGE because the team will have better ideas on methodology and the strategy will evolve as the project progresses.”
“I would still assume our budget will be in the $2+ million range per my earlier memo, even though the attached budget is lower than $2 million (obviously, we are going to make this as cheap as we can without sacrificing thoroughness and quality),” he said.