After weeks of rumors that Hillary Clinton might base her presidential campaign headquarters right here in Brooklyn, Politico broke the news today that a source has confirmed that “Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters will work out of 1 Pierrepont Plaza in Brooklyn Heights,” a building which also houses “Morgan Stanley and the office of the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.” It is also just a couple of blocks from Chipotle, which is a very important feature in a part of Brooklyn where the best dining options are limited to, well, Chipotle. (Miss you, Siggy’s!)
The importance of the lease signing is twofold: First, it means that Clinton will have to officially declare that she is running for president, because, as Politico notes, “FEC rules state that you have 15 days between conducting campaign activities and filing a campaign committee;” prior to now, Clinton’s campaign staffers—who have been “working in the capacity of volunteers—had been using coffee shops and Clinton’s Midtown office as de facto campaign headquarters.
The second reason this lease-signing is important, though, is that it is a definite signifier that “Brooklyn”—as in the idea, the lifestyle, the brand—will be even more recognized on a national level than it already is. After all, nothing Hillary Clinton does is accidental (including deleting all those emails!), so there’s no way that she wasn’t cognizant of the fact that the building she would be moving into describes itself as being “Brooklyn Cool.” This move is surely one way for Clinton to connect herself with the more progressive elements of the Democratic base, and to try and maintain some sense of relevance and, um, “Brooklyn” coolness. Because, you know, there’s nothing cooler than sharing a building with Morgan Stanley.
However, as much of a calculated move as basing her headquarters in Brooklyn might be, the truth is that this will probably have very little effect on Brooklyn as a whole. Clinton herself will probably only rarely be visiting headquarters, and 1 Pierrepont Plaza is situated right on the margin of Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn, an area that is really convenient to commute to… and not much else. We should not suddenly start expecting to see Hillary dropping by Foragers in DUMBO to check out the salad bar or hanging out at Livingston Manor for happy hour. So, you know, life here will continue on as always, with the oh-so-pleasant addition of hearing “Brooklyn” get even more trashed for being a liberal, hipster haven by Fox News and its ilk than ever before.
Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen