Hillary's shadow campaign

Hillary Clinton was a few months removed from the State Department when one of her top aides, Huma Abedin, received an alarmed phone call about trouble brewing between two groups looking to help her politically.

“Ready for Hillary,” the super PAC that was initially billed as a grass-roots effort to channel early energy for Clinton to run, had become a source of frustration, and it was reaching a boiling point. In addition to a moniker that irked some Clinton allies — they thought it had an air of inevitability that plagued her in the past ­ — the group was making an aggressive play for activists and donors to back their effort.

At the same time, Priorities USA, the main super PAC behind Obama in 2012, was in discussions to reinvent itself as a pro-Hillary Clinton endeavor. That would mean appealing to some of those same supporters. The two groups also had wildly different views of how active to be while Clinton was assessing whether to run.

The Priorities official warned Abedin that the situation could become problematic for Clinton if it wasn’t resolved. The official sought guidance from someone who had the would-be candidate’s ear.