Over the past week, the new book by former interim DNC Chair Donna Brazile has received tons of press. Brazile has claimed that her reason for writing “Hacks” was to set the record straight. I would submit that her real motivation was to destroy the Clinton machine, which has ruled the Democratic Party since 1993.
Since Nov. 8, 2016, Hillary Clinton has been a constant media presence trying to explain all the reasons she lost the election (my latest count is 30 excuses). Along with her blame game, Clinton has at times hinted that she might run again in 2020. By drawing the coverage, Hillary has been eclipsing other Democrats who might represent the real future of the party.
Enter as savior Donna Brazile, whose book confirms the rumor that Clinton’s winning of the nomination wasn’t fair. The book lends credence to the claims that the campaign was incompetently run, racist and misogynistic, and too arrogant in its certainty that Clinton had the election sewn up long before Election Day.
If Hillary Clinton’s book is named “What Happened,” Brazile’s could have been titled “What Really Happened.”
Brazile’s book is perfectly passive-aggressive. Once sentence might describe how much she wanted Hillary to win (because of the alternative and because she didn’t want to disappoint women), but the next will lambaste the campaign as unethical or incompetent.
Perhaps the book’s biggest revelation is the weight is gives to Bernie Sanders’s claim that he was cheated out of the nomination. Brazile describes how the party made a deal with the devil — an “unethical” pact that “compromised the party’s integrity” and gave Hillary an unfair advantage over Sanders.
Apparently, Barack Obama left the party $24 million in debt after the 2012 campaign. Brazile writes that the party under Debbie Wasserman Schultz signed a secret agreement that placed Hillary in control of its personnel, finances, and strategy in exchange for her raising cash to help make the party solvent.
One of the most shocking allegations in the book is Brazile’s assetion that the Hillary campaign was racist. As reported in the Washington Post:
As one of her party’s most prominent black strategists, Brazile also recounts fiery disagreements with Clinton’s staffers — including a conference call in which she told three senior campaign officials, Charlie Baker, Marlon Marshall and Dennis Cheng, that she was being treated like a slave.
‘I’m not Patsey the slave, ‘Brazile recalls telling them, a reference to the character played by Lupita Nyong’o in the film, ‘12 Years a Slave.’ ‘Y’all keep whipping me and whipping me and you never give me any money or any way to do my damn job. I am not going to be your whipping girl!’
But Brazile doesn’t play just the race card in “Hack.” She also accuses the campaign of sexism toward her.
Recalling what she describes as a tension-filled conference call with [campaign manager Robby] Mook and his team of top aides about hiring a temporary CEO for the party, Brazile says, ‘I have worked with men all my life in politics and I can sense when they get to this part about not being able to deal with a woman. This is not a racial thing. This was a gender thing.’
Brazile says that she interjected at one point in the conference call and said, ‘You know, this does not feel like a negotiation to me. This feels like power and control. Gentlemen, let’s just put our dicks out on the table and see who’s got the bigger one, because I know mine is bigger than all of yours.’
This was the same campaign whose message was “Vote for me because I am a woman.”
Brazile also directs criticism at the campaign’s strategists, who she maintains were so obsessed with research that they never bothered to go into the field and ask voters what they really wanted.
As she traveled the country, Brazile wrote, she detected an alarming lack of enthusiasm for Clinton. On black radio stations, few people defended the nominee. In Hispanic neighborhoods, the only Clinton signs she saw were at the campaign field offices.
But at headquarters in New York, the mood was one of ‘self-satisfaction and inevitability,’ and Brazile’s early reports of trouble were dismissed with ‘a condescending tone.’
One question that will be asked of Brazile is why would someone who was loyal to the party for three decades would suddenly air its dirty laundry in public? We are talking about a woman so dedicated to the DNC that she lost her job at CNN for passing along possible debate questions to Hillary Clinton so she could be well prepared.
Politics is a cruel business. When it’s time to retire, there’s no gold watch, no set of golf clubs. When someone in politics doesn’t realize it’s time to go, he is told publicly that his day has passed. That’s what is behind “Hacks.”
It is a year before the 2020 Democratic party presidential wannabes start emerging from the shadows. In anticipation, Brazile is staging a coup d’état, ensuring that the Clinton machine is broken beyond repair and that Hillary never tries a comeback.
Cross posted at The Lid