Patterico's Pontifications


Preview: Hillary’s Campaign Emails

Filed under: 2008 Election,Terrorism — DRJ @ 11:10 am

[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?”


15 Responses to “Preview: Hillary’s Campaign Emails”

  1. I find it fascinating that politics can be so simultaneously fluid, with unquestioned truths and personal reputations or fortunes changing in a heartbeat, and yet so resistant to obvious truths. For instance, it is just now becoming clear that Hillary Clinton is toxicly obsessive, a debilitating force and a bad executive? This is news to some? How can this be? I can understand Barack Obama’s rise and appeal, a supernova from nowhere, but how on earth Hillary Clinton ever parlayed her long and obvious record of managerial ineptitude, political obtuseness and poisonous dysfunction into such popularity and status as a “leader” in the first place boggles my mind.

    rrpjr (fb0748)

  2. Some of us have always wondered how lipsucking, painfeeling Bubba ever got to the WH. I admit to a bit of puzzlement as to why “a supernova from nowhere” has a chance this year, as well. Bubba wasn’t much but his resume was a bit thicker than Captain Zero’s written on a matchbook cover farce.

    There will be a Clinton counterstroke to this Solis Doyle play. I hope it involves battleaxes and broadswords.

    Rick Ballard (0a8990)

  3. I’ve worked for people who are unable to resolve conflicts. Usually that’s fine… let’s us all be adults and work it out. But once in a while, it’s not OK. When it’s clearly not resolving itself, and one or two people are just unreasonable (and taking things personally), if the leader doesn’t resolve the problem, it’s the leader’s fault that the team isn’t going to perform well. I think that’s the case here, since Clinton’s team took forever to recognize what a threat Obama was, and to actually start pointing out his flaws instead of courting him as a protected VP.

    If we had known about Ayers and Wright in February, Clinton would have won. Period.

    Now, as far as Bill being part of the team, that’s just good sense. He’s a smart guy who isn’t fazed by the high stakes. He knows a lot about winning, and using that wisdom is just common sense. Letting his play Laura Bush would be a waste of his talents. That doesn’t mean he should be the decision maker, but sometimes that’s ok too.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  4. The September issue should be out before the convention I would think, making things a little more interesting in Denver. PUMA.

    Live by identity politics, die by identity politics, the democrat party way. You just can’t pander to everybody.


    Popcorn please!

    daleyrocks (d9ec17)

  5. “If we had known about Ayers and Wright in February”

    Who was going to tell us, Juan? The Dog Trainer?

    If Clinton had hit Obama harder she would have risked the 127% black turnout in Philly and Pittsburg – the key to keeping PA blue. It would have made OH an impossible dream and might have tipped MI and WI – totally offsetting any potential gains in the West.

    It’s six months later and this is still going to earn Bubba another undeserved ‘racist’ feather from Captain Zero’s ObamaJugend.

    Rick Ballard (0a8990)

  6. “If we had known about Ayers and Wright in February”

    — Where were you? We did know about both of them in February.

    Icy Truth (d05099)

  7. Screwed up the link; this is a story from Bloomberg News, Feb. 15th:

    — Those of us that listen to ‘A Great American’ on the radio knew about it much sooner.

    Icy Truth (d05099)

  8. DRJ concluded:

    The larger questions are “Are these emails accurate?” and, if so, “Are they representative?”

    How about another large question: was it legal to intercept them and use them in a publication?

    One of the more sensational stories in the Philadelphia area concerns former KYW-TV anchor Larry Mendte, who was indicted on federal charges for snooping into the private e-mail of former co-anchor Alycia Lane. Mr Mendte then leaked some of the information to a local gossip columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.

    It it was a federal offense for Mr Mendte to access Miss Lane’s private e-mails to leak to the press, why isn’t it a federal offense for someone to leak private e-mails from the Clinton campaign?

    Dana R Pico (556f76)

  9. Dana, is it possible that, if you are right, the leaker is a writer/receiver of the emails, which would allow leaking?

    reff (b68a4f)

  10. I’m not sure it’s in Obama’s interests to “put Hilla

    I don’t see how Obama can use the e-mails to “portray Hillary in the worst light possible” without undermining himself. Instead of being a juggernaut slayer, the e-mails make him look lucky to have run against a dysfunctional candidate.

    And the smarter Hillary’s staff looks in retrospect, the less invincible Obama looks in November.

    NCC (c36902)

  11. #8 Dana R Pico-
    I have to wonder about the expected privacy issue with e-mails. I’ve noticed that google mail often have ads on the sidebar that reflect words used in the body of my private messages sent to or received from others. One might wonder just who might have access to these things. Maybe I’m into being flogged by post-op transexual mixed race midgets and talk about it in private e-mail. Should the world be able to know it?
    Regarding Philly- what ever happened to Larry Kane and Jerry Blavat? Or even Wilson Goode? We knows the Streets and Rendell moved up in the world.

    madmax333 (0c6cfc)

  12. “If we had known about Ayers and Wright in February, Clinton would have won. Period.”

    Anyone could have known about it – if they just cared enough to look. You better believe that HRC and her campaign staff knew all about both individuals, but chose not to use it. To their fatal dismay, obvviously.

    Dmac (874677)

  13. Rick, history says you’re wrong on this one. There was a huge shift in votes, favoring Hillary greatly over Obama, once those stories started to get out in the mainstream.

    Blacks don’t vote much in primaries anyway. And Obama was walking a narrow line with the post racial/ calls other racists thing. He would have had less room to do so if he had been tarred as a supporter of an anti-Semitic preacher for 20 years.

    Hillary had no problem getting stories out into the open if she wanted to. She got Wright and Ayers out there, didn’t she? She just didn’t decide to until it was too late because she thought she had no chance of losing, and Obama would make the ideal VP. She was slow because her organization was disfunctional.

    Juan (4cdfb7)

  14. Juan,

    Blumenthal was backdooring Obama stuff through the Brit press in ’07. Check the London Daily Mail. While the US mainstream was quick to pick up on Wolfowitz material planted in the Mail, they never found the time or space to mention the Obama stuff. It wasn’t that Clinton wasn’t trying, it was that she rightfully feared that too much pressure on the US press was going to buy her a ‘racist’ tag.

    Kinda like what’s happening now.

    I am aware that blacks have minimal importance in the primaries. I was referring to the general where a hangover from the ‘racist’ tag would be costly. Which is precisely why these emails are being fed to media now – to forestall “problems” as Obama skids into nomination without coming close to closing the sale with those “WOMEN, LOWER AND MIDDLE CLASS VOTERS” whose lack will cost him the election.

    Rick Ballard (0a8990)

  15. Well it does prove that “payback is a bitch”–especially in a fight between two political hatchet types of the feminine persuasion.

    It also sorta puts the permanent lie to the Hildebeast proposition that she “was ready from day one”. She’s no more ready than the Obamessiah–it’s just that he’s been handled better so far. The difficulty is that when Day One comes around, one of these two may be sitting in the White House and we’ll all pay the price. (I’m not cutting out the possibility that Hillary will rise from the tub “Fatal Attraction” style in Denver and do the Anointed One in.)

    Mike Myers (31af82)

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