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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

More Hacked Emails

A new batch of leaked emails from Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta posted to WikiLeaks today reveals a variety of new allegations, including the charge that Clinton vetted billionaires and businessmen who donated to her foundation as potential running mates.

General Motors CEO and chairwoman Mary Barra, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent, Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz were each considered as vice presidential candidates. All donated to The Clinton Foundation.

Podesta also organized the potential running mates into “rough food groups” that distinguished them by classifications such as race and gender. The recent leak also includes Clinton staffers pondering an Antonin Scalia replacement on the day he died, discussing the Justice Department’s investigation of Clinton and politicizing Black History Month, as well as Podesta calling Bernie Sanders a “doofus.”
At Politico, Blake Hounshell reports:
 Hillary Clinton’s aides debated whether to include a shoutout to Israel in an early version of her stump speech, ultimately concluding that it wasn’t worth the possible blowback from Democratic activists.
According to a hacked email chain that begins on May 15, 2015, Clinton’s top policy aide, Jake Sullivan, found himself at odds with the former secretary of state’s political advisers when he suggested adding “a sentence on standing up for our allies and our values, including Israel and other fellow democracies, and confronting terrorists and dictators with strength and cunning.”
“I though this was largely for her TP with public events not fundraisers. Do we need Israel etc for that?” communications adviser Mandy Grunwald responded.
“We def need the etc. I think good to have Israel too,” Sullivan replied.
Chief strategist and pollster Joel Benenson chimed in: “Why would we call out Israel in public events now? The only voters elevating FP [foreign policy] at all are Republican primary voters. To me we deal with this in stride when an if we are asked about FP.”
“She was Secretary of State,” Sullivan shot back.
“I'm w Joel,” wrote campaign manager Robby Mook. “We shouldn't have Israel at public events. Especially dem activists.”
Zachary Warmbrodt adds at Politico:
Hillary Clinton's campaign advisers disagreed about how tough the former Secretary of State should be when it came to the "revolving door" that circulates people between jobs in Washington and Wall Street, according to email conversations released by WikiLeaks.
The dispute arose in a string of August 2015 messages - unverified by the campaign - where aides provided input on an op-ed that Clinton planned to publish with Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.).
The piece, which later ran on the Huffington Post, was written in support of a bill Baldwin had introduced in the Senate to slow the revolving door and restrict companies from giving bonuses to departing employees headed into government.
Top Clinton policy aide Jake Sullivan said he was worried that the thrust of the op-ed was "if you work in the private sector and come into government, you are an inherently suspicious character."
Campaign manager Robby Mook pushed back, suggesting that a tougher tone would help in the Democratic primaries.
"I don't think the average voter will be sensitive to alienating people who go in and out of government. My concern from a primary perspective is appearing to protect the status quo, which I think people will believe (with a bit of prompting from Warren and others) is corrupted," Mook said, likely referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren. The Massachusetts Democrat had been promoting the legislation as "as a bill any presidential candidate should be able to cheer for."
Sullivan conceded, "I know that I sound like I am protecting the plutocrats."
"But there is a line here," he added. "If we go across it we're just demagoguing."