Democrat Party still hasn’t learned from Hillary’s campaign mistakes.
While everyone concentrates on the White House, the Democrat Party continues to dive deeper into a civil war.
Former interim DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile has taken aim at failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Democratic strategist Stanley Greenerg is “still fuming about Hillary Clinton,” especially since Democrat candidates are still using her failed tactics.
Let’s first look at Donna Brazile’s scathing article at Politico about Hillary’s campaign and the moves she made before she even became a candidate. She took over the DNC after leaks of emails showed officials working against Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) in the primary. This led then-Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (R-FL) to resign right before the DNC convention.
Rigging a primary
Brazile, after she was named acting chairwoman, promised Sanders that she “would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested.”
— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 2, 2017
The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.
“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”
That wasn’t true, he said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.
Gensler then said that the DNC needed a $2 million loan and that Hillary’s campaign controlled the DNC:
The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearing house. Under FEC law, an individual can contribute a maximum of $2,700 directly to a presidential campaign. But the limits are much higher for contributions to state parties and a party’s national committee.
Individuals who had maxed out their $2,700 contribution limit to the campaign could write an additional check for $353,400 to the Hillary Victory Fund—that figure represented $10,000 to each of the thirty-two states’ parties who were part of the Victory Fund agreement—$320,000—and $33,400 to the DNC. The money would be deposited in the states first, and transferred to the DNC shortly after that. Money in the battleground states usually stayed in that state, but all the other states funneled that money directly to the DNC, which quickly transferred the money to Brooklyn.
“Wait,” I said. “That victory fund was supposed to be for whoever was the nominee, and the state party races. You’re telling me that Hillary has been controlling it since before she got the nomination?”
Gary said the campaign had to do it or the party would collapse.
“That was the deal that Robby struck with Debbie,” he explained, referring to campaign manager Robby Mook. “It was to sustain the DNC. We sent the party nearly $20 million from September until the convention, and more to prepare for the election.”
He told Brazile that the burn rate was between $3.5 million to $4 million a month. Brazile couldn’t believe this since the DNC usually shrunk its staff between presidential elections, but Wasserman Schultz did not do this.
Then a Politico story debuted in May 2016 about a fundraising mission Hillary started in 2015 when she vowed to overhaul “the party from the ground up … when our state parties are strong, we win. That’s what will happen.” However, the states only “kept 1 percent of the $82 million they had amassed from the extravagant fund-raisers Hillary’s campaign was holding.” Politico described this as money laundering. People within the DNC and Hillary’s campaign ignored Brazile’s request for documents about this agreement, but she eventually found it:
When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.
The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.
When the party chooses the nominee, the custom is that the candidate’s team starts to exercise more control over the party. If the party has an incumbent candidate, as was the case with Clinton in 1996 or Obama in 2012, this kind of arrangement is seamless because the party already is under the control of the president. When you have an open contest without an incumbent and competitive primaries, the party comes under the candidate’s control only after the nominee is certain. When I was manager of Gore’s campaign in 2000, we started inserting our people into the DNC in June. This victory fund agreement, however, had been signed in August 2015, just four months after Hillary announced her candidacy and nearly a year before she officially had the nomination.
It’s interesting, though…Brazile admitted that they could not trust the polls that showed Hillary in the lead, which led her to push Bernie to do as much as he could to campaign for her.
Brazile had a hand in rigging the primary against Sanders
I find Brazile’s sob story funny, though. The Wikileaks dump showed an email from Brazile to Hillary’s campaign chairman John Podesta when she worked as a CNN political commentator that included a question from the upcoming CNN town hall during the primaries:
A followup dump showed that Brazile sent even MORE questions to Hillary’s campaign during the primaries.
Former interim Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile admitted Friday that she forwarded Democratic primary debate questions to members of Hillary Clinton’s campaign – something she had previously denied.
“[I]n October, a subsequent release of emails revealed that among the many things I did in my role as a Democratic operative and D.N.C. Vice Chair prior to assuming the interim D.N.C. Chair position was to share potential town hall topics with the Clinton campaign,” she wrote.
Plus, is anyone shocked Brazile is now speaking up? She knows Hillary is done and doesn’t have the power to ruin her.
Not Learning From Hillary
On Wednesday, The New Yorker published an article about the civil war within the Democratic Party because no one has learned the lessons from Hillary’s horrible campaign. Veteran Democratic strategist Stanley Greenberg, who helped Bill Clinton win the White House in the 1990s, lashed out at the Democrats to Susan B. Glasser:
“The Democratic Party today is divided over whether it wants to focus on the economy or identity,” Greenberg said when we talked. That is, as he pointed out, just what the Clinton campaign was fighting about a year ago. Greenberg and others who came out of the Bill Clinton era—like the former President himself—had never really let go of the economy-first mantra that got them to the White House in a different time, and they felt that there was a generational conflict with the Obama operatives who held sway over Hillary Clinton’s 2016 strategy. It was a fight that dogged the Clinton campaign all the way until its final days, when Greenberg and his allies inside the campaign pushed unsuccessfully to close with a focus on her plans for the economy.
Greenberg critiqued numerous speeches for Hillary and even pushed her to pay more attention “to the economic struggles of the white working class.” Campaign chairman John Podesta sought out Greenberg after campaign manager Robby Mook insisted the campaign needed to concentrate on persuading Obama voters to vote for Hillary instead of voters in the Rust Belt:
Clinton was guilty of “malpractice” in how she conducted her 2016 Presidential campaign, Greenberg told me. Even worse, he said, Democrats were repeating the same political mistakes a year later. “Look at Virginia right now,” Greenberg said, as soon as we sat down in his second-floor office. “We have a candidate”—Ralph Northam, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee—“running as Hillary Clinton. He is running on the same kind of issues, and has the same kind of view of the world. It’s the Republicans who talk about the economy, not the Democrats.” This was the approach that doomed Clinton against Trump. The electorate was angry in 2016 and remains angry now, Greenberg said, and Northam, a Norfolk doctor, didn’t get it. Neither did Clinton and the team of Obama veterans who staffed her Brooklyn headquarters. “If you live in the metro areas with the élites, you don’t wake up angry about what’s happening in people’s lives,” Greenberg said.
Jake Sullivan, Hillary’s top policy advisor, told The New Yorker that the campaign knew it had a “huge working-class, non-college white issue.” The campaign couldn’t agree on how to tackle it: “How do you add up to victory? Do you attack it head-on or by compensating elsewhere?”
Well, I’m no campaign expert, but something tells me that when you ignore a HUGE portion of the voter bloc, you won’t win. But it seems the Democrats still don’t know how to address the issue.DONATE
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