They’re the “HRC Super Volunteers” — a group of near obsessive Hillary Clinton supporters who travel, on their own dime, to volunteer at the Democratic presidential candidate‘s campaign events.
Not affiliated with the Clinton campaign, this unofficial group has taken it upon themselves to help recruit people into Clinton’s grassroots network, engage people on social media, fund-raise and provide volunteer support for Clinton.
John West, a 39-year-old landscape architect from Chicago, Illinois and co-leader of the “HRC Super Volunteers,” and Jim Livesey, from Wisconsin, both drove to Des Moines, Iowa for Clinton’s first campaign rally the state on Sunday.
Wearing giant “H” cutouts around their necks and holding a life-sized cardboard cutout of Clinton, the two men walked up and down the line of Iowans who showed up for the rally — which took place at the Iowa State Fairgrounds –- engaging with the crowds to generate excitement.
Hillary Clinton’s “super volunteers” stationed outside her rally today at the Iowa State Fairgrounds pic.twitter.com/g23IK00zui
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) June 14, 2015
“When I say Madame, you say … President,” West yelled, while taking a photo of a group of women who posed with the cardboard Clinton.
“Come on guys, you’ve got to SUPPORT her,” he said, when the flimsy cutout started to fall over.
Despite their commitment and exuberance, Clinton’s campaign says they had no idea these “super volunteers” would be attending the rally.
Even so, the “HRC Super Volunteers” – who gained name recognition earlier this year for telling reporters not to use terms like “disingenuous” and “insincere,” which they said were sexist, when describing Clinton – take themselves very seriously.
“Not super fan, super volunteer,” West said, correcting this reporter who made the mistake of using the first term in an interview with the two men Sunday. “And we’re supporters, not fans.”
Before the rally, ABC News spoke briefly with West and Livesey about their support for Clinton and their current efforts to help get her elected.
How long have you been Clinton supporters?
West: Ever since I shook her hand in ’93 at Boy’s Nation I’ve been sold. I knew I was shaking the hand of a future president.
Livesey: I am a lifetime Hillary supporter. I told Hillary, I’m your number one guy in southeastern Wisconsin. During the rally you’ll see how excited we get.
Describe the HRC Super Volunteers.
Livesey: The HRC Super Volunteers are the most energized, and excited supporters. We’re here to fight for Hillary and we’re here to let her not only win the Iowa caucus, win New Hampshire, the first four primaries, and get to 270, so we can get our first woman president.
What do “super volunteers” do?
West: A Super Volunteer is someone who commits to door knocking, canvassing, phone banking, online rapid response, correcting the record, all of those things.
The grassroots is wind/solar powered like @HillaryClinton green energy plan! #hillary2016 pic.twitter.com/2K3SsT5gfL
— OfficialHRCSuperVols (@TheHRCSuperVols) June 14, 2015
How many of them are you?
West: Over 1,000. We’re in 50 states. We have over 200 in Texas alone.
Why do they do at her events?
Livesey: We go to organize people. We have a three tiered system. We volunteer, we get people fired up, we fundraiser and we also supports our other networks in the field. And we also go to meet Secretary Clinton. We like being around her, she’s a great woman, and a great inspiration to us.
How often do you go?
Livesey: I’ve done so many events this month. 18. I’ve been to Iowa four times. Last year was for Senator Harkin‘s Steak Fry. I got the pleasure of meeting Secretary Clinton. I got a little selfie with her.
Hillary Clinton takes the stage at first Iowa rally of campaign pic.twitter.com/75cQ5y3xXu
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) June 14, 2015
Oh, do you often get to meet Clinton?
Livesey: At most events she just approaches us. At the last event she came down because we had a fundraiser.
West: She loves meeting her volunteers
Livesey: Loves it, loves it.
West: She lives for that.
Livesey: Hillary likes to give us the moments. She understands that it’s very exciting for us to meet her and she gives us moments, pictures. She’s given me personal advice. She’s a wonderful and remarkable woman.
What kind of advice did Clinton give you?
Livesey: I had a personal problem in my life the first time I met her. And she saw I was pretty emotional about it. And she grabbed my hand and said that I’m still standing strong. And my response was “I’m standing strong next to the next president of the United States.” And at that time she had not announced, and she just smiled and winked, and she was going to get up and hug me and I just, I told her “no.” But it was, it was wonderful.