Hillary Clinton staffer: ‘Who knew there were that many Democrats in Georgia’

Hillary Clinton hugs Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in February 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Hillary Clinton hugs Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in February 2016. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

The release of thousands of additional hacked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta on Monday brought an interesting tidbit from the Democrat’s February visit to Georgia.

That visit, days before the state’s March primary, featured a last-minute venue change to Atlanta City Hall, a hearty embrace from Mayor Kasim Reed, a trek to the Georgia statehouse and then an surprise visit to Octane coffee shop.

Nick Merrill, a Clinton press aide, offers a behind-the-scenes view with a few of his own observations in this Feb. 26 email to campaign officials:

City hall was packed, with several hundred more in overflow than in the event itself. HRC spoke at both, with Mayor Reed getting everyone fired up. Speech was shorter but pretty standard stump otherwise. We left and went to the Statehouse which was electric. Who knew there were that many Democrats in Georgia.

She addressed the Democratic Caucus and did a short version of her stump that was pretty crisp. She used a line about spending 10 months crafting policies, and while the press may have thought that was boring, she’s very proud of it. People loved it. There were no press in the room. We took many a selfie while wading through throngs of people, with more pouring over the balconies, and headed to Octane coffee shop for an OTR. Usher was going to join us but got stuck in traffic…

Dan Merica asked her if she was jealous that she didn’t get Christie’s endorsement, to which she responded with a prolonged smile (you could see the gears turning), and then said “Dan, I really like you. I really really like you.” They are basically courting each other at this point.

She got one question from local CBS, general about why she’s in Georgia. She gave a stock answer about being a good partner if she’s lucky enough to win.

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