The RNC’s Newest Anti-Hillary Weapon Is a Giant Orange Squirrel

Meet HRC Squirrel. It has its own Twitter account.

Patrick Caldwell/Mother Jones

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Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is speaking in DC Friday night on the campus of George Washington University. The visit was to promote her new book, Hard Choices, but had the air of a campaign event: The line to get in snaked around the block, with attendees sporting “Ready for Hillary” stickers on their shirts. Network TV cameras lined the back of the lower mezzanine. Secret Service agents trolled through the aisles.

And the Republican National Committee was there to respond. Rival political factions turning up at events isn’t a rare occurrence, but the RNC unveiled a new strategy with an…interesting bent. It was the debut of the HRC Squirrel: A person walking around in a bright orange squirrel suit. Tailed by four RNC staffers, the squirrel wandered around giving high-fives to the folks in line, who generally seemed to get a kick out of the odd scene. The squirrel has a Twitter handle and a donation page where anti-Clintonites can get bumper stickers that say “Another Clinton in the White House is Nuts.”

That nutty joke was the gist of the attack, making it a little unclear that the furry was there to rebuke the attendees’ favorite Democrat.

The RNC's Hillary Squirrel

High Five! Patrick Caldwell/Mother Jones

The plainclothes staffers followed the squirrel around, handing out an information sheet with bullet points attacking Clinton. Bold statements include “Benghazi is Still the Defining Moment of Clinton’s Tenure,” and “Clinton’s Russia Reset Has Failed.” One of the staffers, an RNC deputy press secretary, said that the squirrel would be making appearances at subsequent Clinton book signings.

Welcome to 2016!

 

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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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