At the day long strategy session for Ready For Hillary donors in New York City last week, the old familiar faces of Clinton hanger-ons led the charge. And I do mean old – in every sense of the word. They’re either septuagenarians or old news. Think the opposite of cutting edge. And with few exceptions, they were tied to Hillary’s disastrous 2008 campaign.
The speaker “strategists” were dominated by old hacks and old white men. They’re one or the other. And most of them tried unconvincingly to convince the audience that they were in for a long hard campaign. That’s the language they use to rev up the donors and keep the money coming. That’s the message from Hillaryland. Even though they all think she is inevitable, they don’t want that perception out there.But once they get away from that group and their script, some of them quickly change their tune.
Seventy-five year old Harold Ickes warned the group that it could be a tough fight and a Hillary victory was not “inevitable.” Harold was one of the masterminds of her disastrous 2008 campaign. His particular area of expertise was the party “rules.” But the campaign apparently didn’t understand the “proportional representation rule” and Hillary lost.
Seventy-year old James Carville attacked the idea of inevitability: “It’s stupid. It’s a stupid perception.”I just think it’s coming from inexperienced people that don’t know what they’re talking about.” Presumably he wasn’t talking about himself or his ex-partner, Paul Begala. Because two days later, he told George Stephanopolous: “There’s not much appetite in the Democratic party and around the country for somebody other than Hillary Clinton. Sounds like he was saying she’s inevitable, doesn’t it? But he’s not inexperienced, although he hasn’t officially worked in a presidential campaign since 1992. Was he talking about Begala?
Begala, 53, is one of the younger boys, He’s insisted that its Hillary or no one for the Democrats.He’s also written that Hillary won’t be dragged down by Obama, as McCain was by Bush because “Obama won’t be as unpopular as Bush.” Earth to Begala: See polling by every reputable survey research company, Mr. Begala. Begala’s book Third Term argued that A McCain presidency would just be a Bush third term, promoting all the same policies. See any analogy here, Paul?
Begala may also have a big problem with Hillary. He was recently quoted as saying he didn’t like Chelsea Clinton and din’t believe that her “vanilla, good girl” image was real. Whoa! Those are tough words coming from a sycophantic Clinton supporter. Like any parents, the Clintons, especially Hillary, don’t like criticism of their daughter. (Remember NBC’s David Shuster who reported that the Clintons were “pimping out’ Chelsea during the campaign. He was suspended for two weeks after the Clintons put massive pressure on the NBC Board) So don’t look for Begala in any leadership role.
Then there’s Jonathan Mantz, the forner Finance Director of the Hillary 2008 campaign, was scheduled to speak. Mantz oversaw finances in the 2008 Hilllary campaign. Remember when they ran out of money and Hillary had to lend the campaign $13.5 million from her personal money? The campaign was broke when they desperately needed the money to compete.
While Mantz is under 70, he’s one of the ultimate Washington insiders. Mantz is an uber corporate lobbyist. From 2005-2007, he worked at the Podesta Matoon lobbying firm. The Podesta in that name is Tony Podesta, brother of John Podesta, counsel to Obama on how to run the government by sidestepping Congress. John Podesta is also the likely campaign chairman for Hillary’s 2016 campaign. While a principal at the firm. Mantz represented Altria, the parent company of Phillip Morris, Blackstone, BP, GE, PHARMA, ATT, Textron. The firm also represented Tyco, Wal-MArt, Lockheed Martin, and Pfizer. They’re thick with major corporations. Mantz left Podesta in 2007 abad moved over to BGR Group, where he’s been ever since. Over there, he’s represented the AFL/CIO, Chevron, Toyota, Comcast, PHARMA. You get the picture. He also worked for Senator Tom Daschle and various campaign committees. Talk about same old, same old.
Then there’s Craig T. Smith, former aid to Bill Clinton in Arkansas and a Polticial Director at the Clinton White House employee and Campaign Manager for Al Gore. He’s been around the insider block a few times. Craig is a long-time Clinton crony. He started in the Arkansas Governor’s Office and has followed along ever since. Nothing new there.
The only refreshing face at the Ready For Hillary day was
Stephanie Schriock, the almost 40 President of Emily’s List. Schrinock is a rising star in the Democratic Party and is not tied to the old faces, old races of Hillary and Bill Clinton. There are rumors that she will be Hillary’s Campaign Manager.
That would be a brilliant move by Hillary and would knock the old boys back to their retirement home.