[Guest post by DRJ]
Today’s Politico includes excerpts from Joshua Green’s upcoming article in The Atlantic regarding leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
Green has written in the past about Hillaryland, the Clinton campaign, and the firing of Patti Solis Doyle.
One theme identified by the Politico seems to be Hillary’s indecision about attacking Obama as someone foreign to average Americans and American values. The limited excerpts depict strategist Mark Penn as repeatedly urging Hillary to portray herself as American and Obama as foreign, diverse and multicultural — a candidate for 2050, not 2008.
The Politico preview includes other examples that argue Hillary failed to act on good advice from her advisers:
“A key take-away from the article is that Clinton received a lot of accurate advice, including from Penn. He wrote a remarkably prescient memo in March 2007 about the importance of appealing to what he called “the Invisible Americans,” specifically “WOMEN, LOWER AND MIDDLE CLASS VOTERS” — exactly the groups that helped Clinton beat Obama in key states nearly a year later.”
Hillary Clinton is also portrayed as a weak, indecisive executive:
“The anger and toxic obsessions overwhelmed even the most reserved Beltway wise men,” Green writes. “[H]er advisers couldn’t execute strategy; they routinely attacked and undermined each other, and Clinton never forced a resolution. … [S]he never behaved like a chief executive, and her own staff proved to be her Achilles’ heel.
“What is clear from the internal documents is that Clinton’s loss derived not from any specific decision she made but rather from the preponderance of the many she did not make.”
Furthermore, Bill is listed as the decision-maker who approved the 3AM ad (proving we always get 2-for-1 with the Clintons):
“The famous 3 a.m. ad, written by Penn and approved by Clinton, almost didn’t run: “In the days leading up to Ohio and Texas, the campaign kept arguing over whether to air the [3 a.m.] ad. With the deadline looming, Bill Clinton, speaking from a cell phone as his plane sat on a runway, led a conference call on Thursday, Feb. 28, in which he had both sides present their case. As his plane was about to lift off, it was Bill Clinton — not Hillary — who issued the decisive order: ‘Let’s go with it.’ ”
The article and leaks hurt Hillary and the timing of the release, right before the Democratic Convention, is especially damaging. It helps Obama to portray Hillary in the worst light possible, so one possibility for the leaker is Patti Solis Doyle. Doyle, a long-time Clinton loyalist, was ousted by Hillary in February 2008 and joined the Obama team in June. Doyle must have been hurt when she was dumped as the weak link in Hillary’s organization, and maybe she found a way to prove to the Obama campaign she is a reliable convert.
On the other hand, Green hasn’t had much good to say about Doyle in the past and there are a lot of big egos and hurt feelings in politics, so we may never learn the leaker(s) identity. The larger questions are “Are these emails accurate?” and, if so, “Are they representative?”