How the ex-DNC chair ruined Clinton’s chance
Who’s afraid of the Clintons? Not Donna Brazile.
The explosive book by the former head of the Democratic National Committee is rocking the political world with its tales of Hillary Clinton’s brazen corruption and tawdry deceits. To add extra punch to her insider’s account, Brazile is telling interviewers that Clinton’s 2016 campaign was “sterile” and a “cult,” and mocking it as sexless and joyless.
She even writes that she considered trying to replace Clinton as the nominee over health concerns after the candidate collapsed at the 9/11 anniversary ceremony, a fact that demolishes the myth that suspicions about Clinton’s condition were the sole province of conservative partisans.
To say the Clinton camp is furious at what they regard as betrayal doesn’t do justice to their outrage. They are attacking Brazile personally, accusing her of telling outright lies just to sell books.
Which is mighty rich when you consider the history of the Clintons.
Still, you can’t blame their distress because the stakes are huge. If it sticks, Brazile’s searing indictment of Hillary’s persona, ethics and political skills could prove fatal to her hopes for a 2020 comeback.
In fact, I believe that is the ultimate point of the book: to clear the Democratic decks for desperately needed new leadership and messages.
It’s easier said than done because Clinton’s comeback plan is not as crazy as it sounds. Until a new challenger comes along to knock her off the party pedestal, she remains the default Democrat.
She cements her position by playing the role of entitled victim and winner of the 2016 popular vote. In her own book and interviews, she spies a vast conspiracy against her, from Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump to James Comey to misogynists and racists and deplorables everywhere.
Even Barack Obama, whose Justice Department saw no evil when it came to Clinton’s reprehensible self-dealing involving Bill Clinton’s speaking fees and donations to the Clinton Foundation, is nonetheless a target of Hillary’s ire.
Yet Clinton is also looking forward, having started a new slush fund that could easily become a campaign super PAC. It’s called Onward Together, and she cited it in a volley of tweets where she claimed credit for the Democrats’ wins in the New Jersey and Virginia governor’s races.
“Last night was a great reminder of what’s possible when we come together and fight for what we believe in,” she tweeted Wednesday. “So I wanted to take a few minutes to celebrate the extraordinary successes of a few groups I — and Onward Together — proudly fight alongside.”
Like it or not, that’s her story and she’s sticking to it until a challenger appears with a better one.
Which is why Brazile’s account is so devastating. Beyond laying bare how Clinton secretly took control of the DNC to ward off Bernie Sanders’ challenge and other foul plays, Brazile’s book is at heart a cry for somebody different in 2020.As such, Brazile, a well-liked party veteran, has dared to stand up to the Clinton machine and tell Bill and Hillary their time has passed.
In theory, that shouldn’t be so hard. Obama is younger and more popular than both Clintons, and he’s made no secret of his plan to stay involved in organizing Dems for upcoming elections.
But Obama’s standing is not without its own drawbacks. The nationwide losses the party suffered under his tenure were directly owing to his leftward lurch, with his focus on the very rich and very poor. He talked about the middle and working classes, but his policies mostly worked against them.
That mistake opened the door for Trump, whose appeal to long-ignored blue-collar voters and beleaguered families was the key ingredient in his Electoral College triumph.
For now, and especially after last week’s results, leading Dems believe they have a winning approach. They aim to motivate their base by endless bashing of Trump and assume the president will help them by continuing to split the GOP, which makes it nearly impossible for Congress to pass major legislation. They will also continue to play the Russia, Russia, Russia card.
In the short term, that might be sufficient. But 2020 is a long way off and the party is not likely to recapture the White House without an appealing messenger and a forward-looking message of economic growth.
Which is why Brazile is right about the need for somebody new. In terms of both message and messenger, Clinton is a proven loser.
Living in the shadow of shooters
The unsettled nature of our times is reflected in a Wall Street Journal story that finds churches, libraries and schools joining businesses in teaching people what to do if an active shooter is in the building.
“It’s going to keep happening,” a 77-year-old retired doctor told the Journal about why he attended a survival class. “We have to be prepared because you go to church, it’s not safe. You go shopping, it’s not safe. Just walking around the park, it’s not safe.”
Statistically, he’s wrong. But after a series of sensational mass murders, no one can argue with the very real and understandable fear he’s expressing.
Buried in a Democratic landslide
Hey, did you hear — New York City had an election? Sadly, only one team showed up to play.
Mayor Putz easily won four more years, but as an indication of how Republicans are outgunned, he got “only” 66 percent of the vote — by far the smallest winning margin among top races.
Democrat Scott Stringer got 77 percent in winning a second term as comptroller and partymate Tish James got 74 percent in being re-elected as public advocate.The lopsided pattern held among borough presidents, too. The four Democrats seeking a second term won with at least 78 percent, with Ruben Diaz Jr. in the Bronx getting the most, at 88 percent.
The lone Republican borough president, James Oddo, won with 75 percent on Staten Island.
The City Council is overwhelmingly controlled by Dems, and most incumbents won in landslides, with about a dozen getting 90 percent or more.
The only council incumbent among 34 running who faces possible defeat is Queens Democrat Elizabeth Crowley. She has not yet conceded in a squeaky-tight race to another registered Democrat, Bob Holden, who ran on the GOP line.
With the party that holds virtually all power being the same party that believes government can solve all life’s problems, New Yorkers are on Easy Street. Presumably, all their needs and wants will be provided as promised in a ditty about the magic of free stuff:
Don’t tax me, don’t tax thee,
Tax that fellow behind the tree.
The Times of Israel says the museum is “advertised as ‘fun’ for teens, who can take pictures posing with Hitler and a backdrop of the Auschwitz death camp.”
No doubt it’s a barrel of laughs.