This morning, Politico published an excerpt from Donna Brazile’s upcoming book entitled: Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House. In it, Brazile, who became the interim chair of the Democratic party after the former chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz resigned in a cloud of controversy after leaked emails showed evidence of sabotage towards the Bernie Sanders campaign, details how the Clinton campaign successfully highjacked control of the Democratic National Committee nearly a year before securing the nomination.
Brazile says the DNC was deeply in debt, and the Clinton campaign kept it afloat while essentially holding it hostage. She lays out the rough details of an agreement between the CEO of the DNC Amy Dacey and Hillary’s campaign manager Robby Mook that stated that “in exchange for raising money and investing in the DNC, Hillary would control the party’s finances, strategy, and all the money raised.” While the DNC is a private company, it’s supposed to function in a democratic fashion, and last year, if these allegations are true, it clearly didn’t.
In the piece, Brazile asserts that Wasserman Schultz drove the DNC into the ground through irresponsible spending and eventually turned to the Clinton campaign to be rescued. According to Brazile, the Hillary for America campaign fund and the Hillary Victory Fund, which was a joint campaign and DNC venture “had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining [DNC] debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.”
For all intents and purposes the Clinton campaign bought and thus, owned the Democratic National Committee. So all of those Bernie supporters who said the primaries were rigged, well, according to this report, they were right. While it’s a common practice, and Brazile mentions this, for a campaign to take a certain amount of control over the party once victory has been clinched, doing so 11 months beforehand is a sweater of a different knit entirely.
This news is far from surprising to anyone who was paying attention to the Democratic primaries last year, it’s still significant. Brazile is an insider, she’s been working on campaigns since the 80’s and ran Al Gore’s 2000 campaign. Now it needs to be noted that Brazile is in damage-control mode herself to a degree, she is working hard to spin away from the Clinton campaign without being stained by its failures. Brazile was the one who gave Clinton a debate question while employed by CNN last year, which eventually led to her contract there being terminated.
It’s necessary to view this excerpt through a lens of skepticism, but Brazile’s assertions do not seem in any way implausible.
Written by Jesse Mechanic
Jesse Mechanic is the editor in chief of The Overgrown.