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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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