As the race for 2016 shifts into gear, old conflicts are reemerging between Hillary Clinton supporters and Team Obama; this time, it’s over access to Obama’s massive email lists.
Amie Parnes and Niall Stanage of The Hill reported:
Obama, Clinton tensions build over email lists ahead of 2016
New tensions are emerging in the relationship between allies of President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
At issue is the fate of the political equivalent of gold dust — the enormous email list, comprised of many millions of supporters and donors, that the Obama team has compiled over the course of his two presidential campaigns.
The Clinton camp would dearly love to get its hands on the list, but there is no promise as yet that the president’s aides will comply.
There are “large concerns” about the lists among Clinton supporters, one Hillary ally told The Hill.
To the Clintons and their friends, it’s near unthinkable that a Democratic president — who has plenty of reasons to want a member of his party to succeed him — would withhold such a valuable commodity.
But Team Obama has long believed that the president’s support is built upon the bedrock of his personal qualities rather than mere party identification. His people are loath to be seen as treating the passion of his supporters in a cavalier fashion.
“There’s a lot of data — voter data, massive email lists — that Obama built and there are a lot of people who want to make sure that he spreads that wealth,” the Clinton ally said. “They want to make sure he doesn’t take it in a suitcase back to Chicago and move on. No one wants to see it disappear or have it used just to build a library.”
Democrats are probably hoping everyone has forgotten how ugly the conflict between Hillary and Obama became during the 2008 Democratic primary. There’s plenty of evidence that the rift never healed.
In December, former Obama adviser David Axelrod appeared on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program and took a jab at the “Ready for Hillary” crowd. The Washington Free Beacon reported:
Axelrod: You Hear ‘Ready for Hillary.’ It’s Like, Ready for What?
Host Joe Scarborough expressed his frustration with all of the talk about Clinton as a presidential candidate, even though no one knows what kind of platform she would run on.
“David, isn’t this a problem about Hillary: You don’t know what Hillary stands for; I don’t know what Hillary stands for,” Scarborough said. “Democrats – the Democratic base, the Democratic wing of Democratic Party doesn’t know what Hillary stands for. She’s so careful. She’s so cautious. She’s so Clinton-esque. It’s got to drive the base crazy.”
Axelrod agreed, saying that Clinton is biding her time and trying to figure out what she stands for.
“And what happened in 2008 was that Hillary’s candidacy got out in front of any rationale for it,” Axelrod said. “And the danger is that’s happening again. You hear ‘Ready for Hillary.’ It’s like, ready for what?”
Here’s a moment from the 2008 debates you may have forgotten—and that Democratic strategists probably hope will stay below the radar:
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