“One must have a heart of stone to read the death of little Nell without laughing.”
-- Oscar Wilde
So are you looking for a good laugh? You could read Charles Dickens. Or you could read Donna Brazile:
Before I called Bernie Sanders, I lit a candle in my living room and put on some gospel music. I wanted to center myself for what I knew would be an emotional phone call.
So begins the excerpt from Brazile's book, which purports to explain why Hillary Clinton's campaign and the ineptitude of the Democratic National Committee delivered us Le Grand Orange.
Say amen, somebody:
The Saturday morning after the convention in July, I called Gary Gensler, the chief financial officer of Hillary’s campaign. He wasted no words. He told me the Democratic Party was broke and $2 million in debt.
“What?” I screamed. “I am an officer of the party and they’ve been telling us everything is fine and they were raising money with no problems.”
The candle Brazile lit wasn't the only thing burning:
That wasn’t true, he said. Officials from Hillary’s campaign had taken a look at the DNC’s books. Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign and had been paying that off very slowly. Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.
If I didn’t know about this, I assumed that none of the other officers knew about it, either. That was just Debbie’s way. In my experience she didn’t come to the officers of the DNC for advice and counsel. She seemed to make decisions on her own and let us know at the last minute what she had decided, as she had done when she told us about the hacking only minutes before the Washington Post broke the news.
And then there was the matter of financing itself:
I wanted to believe Hillary, who made campaign finance reform part of her platform, but I had made this pledge to Bernie and did not want to disappoint him. I kept asking the party lawyers and the DNC staff to show me the agreements that the party had made for sharing the money they raised, but there was a lot of shuffling of feet and looking the other way.
When I got back from a vacation in Martha’s Vineyard I at last found the document that described it all: the Joint Fund-Raising Agreement between the DNC, the Hillary Victory Fund, and Hillary for America.
The agreement—signed by Amy Dacey, the former CEO of the DNC, and Robby Mook with a copy to Marc Elias—specified that in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised. Her campaign had the right of refusal of who would be the party communications director, and it would make final decisions on all the other staff. The DNC also was required to consult with the campaign about all other staffing, budgeting, data, analytics, and mailings.
There's more, much more, at the link if you're interested, but a few observations are in order:
- Is anyone who was really paying attention surprised that Barack Obama didn't give a damn about sustaining anything other than his own brand? Or that his campaign was quite good at spending other people's money?
- Is anyone surprised Debbie Wasserman-Schultz is a clueless hack? Or that she would prefer to ask for forgiveness over asking for permission?
- Is anyone surprised Hillary Clinton would be more interested in the money than in helping Democrats down the ticket?
- I'm amused, to say the least, that Donna Brazile of all people wants to be the whistleblower. I've been paying attention to politics for over 40 years -- my Dad had my brothers and me helping out the congressional campaign of Harold Froehlich way back in 1976 -- and from what I've observed, there have been few people in public life who are more hacktastic than Donna Brazile. She was the person who was feeding debate questions to Hillary Clinton in advance. And we are now to believe she wanted to expiate her guilt with ol' Bernie?
Any time a Democrat tells you they ought to be running the country, consider who they actually are and what they actually do.