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WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left

Posted by on Oct. 22, 2016 at 1:27 PM
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WikiLeaks poisons Hillary’s relationship with left

After learning how Clinton feels about them, liberals vow to push back against her agenda and appointments.





LAS VEGAS — Donald Trump is pointing to a stream of hacked emails as proof that Hillary Clinton would be a compromised president, but a surprising number of progressives are drawing similar conclusions — albeit for totally different reasons.

Some of the left’s most influential voices and groups are taking offense at the way they and their causes were discussed behind their backs by Clinton and some of her closest advisers in the emails, which swipe liberal heroes and causes as “puritanical,” “pompous”, “naive”, “radical” and “dumb,” calling some “freaks,” who need to “get a life.”



There are more than personal feelings and relationships at stake, though.

If polls hold and Clinton wins the presidency, she will need the support of the professional left to offset what’s expected to be vociferous Republican opposition to her legislative proposals and appointments.

But among progressive operatives, goodwill for Clinton — and confidence in key advisers featured in the emails including John Podesta, Neera Tanden and Jake Sullivan — is eroding as WikiLeaks continues to release a daily stream of thousands of emails hacked from Podesta’s Gmail account that is expected to continue until Election Day.

Liberal groups and activists are assembling opposition research-style dossiers of the most dismissive comments in the WikiLeaks emails about icons of their movement like Clinton’s Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders, and their stances on trade, Wall Street reform, energy and climate change. And some liberal activists are vowing to use the email fodder to oppose Clinton policy proposals or appointments deemed insufficiently progressive.



“We were already kind of suspicious of where Hillary’s instincts were, but now we see that she is who we thought she was,” said one influential liberal Democratic operative. “The honeymoon is going to be tight and small and maybe nonexistent,” the operative said.


The emails, which also show Clinton praising Wall Street in a manner that’s discordant with her tough campaign rhetoric, have made many progressives less inclined to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt on nominees with more centrist backgrounds or ties to Wall Street, said the operative. “Some of the first fights that she is going to be dealing with are going to be personnel fights like about who she’s going to pick for Treasury, Securities and Exchange Commission, Education and Labor, and for regulatory agencies like the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Federal Trade Commission. Progressives are going to be on guard.”

The WikiLeaks revelations have not influenced the hierarchy around Clinton or her feelings about trusted advisers like Podesta, Sullivan and Tanden, according to a source close to the campaign. Podesta and Sullivan helped Clinton prep for Wednesday’s debate here and traveled aboard the campaign plane with her to the debate, while Tanden is still listed as a co-chair of Clinton’s transition team.

But it could pose a major problem for Clinton’s efforts to fill out a transition team and a prospective administration if Sullivan, Tanden, Podesta or other close advisers became widely seen on the left as unwilling to work in good faith with the Democratic Party’s left flank, which largely aligned behind Sanders during his bitter Democratic primary campaign against Clinton.

Sullivan, who was Clinton’s lead policy adviser at the State Department, is believed to be a candidate to become her National Security Adviser. And the WikiLeaks emails revealed that he also carried great influence in domestic policy debates, often taking a centrist tack that concerned liberals, including opining that Clinton’s “natural place is to the right” of Obama on surveillance.

Tanden, the president of the Clinton-allied think tank Center for American Progress, is one of four co-chairs of Clinton’s transition team, and was expected to serve as a top outside advocate for a prospective Clinton administration. In the emails, she describes herself as “a loyal soldier” who “would do whatever Hillary needs always,” and her criticisms of Clintons’ liberal critics are unsparing and occasionally intensely personal — including once calling some of her own CAP employees “crazy leftists” after they published a headline critical of Clinton.


And Podesta, the dean of Democratic presidential staffers, helped Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama launch their administrations, and now serves as chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and president of her transition team.

In the emails, he comes off as a pragmatist, pouring cold water on the popular liberal proposal for a carbon tax, which Sanders embraced, by saying that the polling on the idea “sucks.” But he also swipes Sanders as a “doofus” for saying that the 2015 Paris climate accord, which Clinton supported, “goes nowhere near far enough.”

Tanden declined to comment for this story, while the campaign would not make Podesta or Sullivan available for interviews.

Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri dodged a question on Tuesday about whether Podesta had apologized for calling Sanders a “doofus.” Instead, she declared “we're really grateful for all the support that Sen. Sanders has given us.”

Palmieri said the Clinton campaign has not asked to review Podesta’s emails to determine what types of additional revelations might be forthcoming in the tens of thousands of emails WikiLeaks says it has yet to release. She suggested, though, that the campaign was not particularly worried.

“We’re not spending a lot of our own internal time doing that,” she said, accusing Russian intelligence of perpetrating the hack “to hurt her campaign.”

The U.S. intelligence community has not officially declared the hack of Podesta to be the work of the Russian government, but it did blame Russia for an earlier hack of the Democratic National Committee. And The Wall Street Journal reported last week that the FBI suspects Russian intelligence agencies were behind the Podesta hack. The Russian government has denied any role.

The Clinton campaign has declined to comment on specific emails, saying it doesn’t want to authenticate them.

But spokesman Glen Caplin rejected any suggestion that the Clinton team is dismissive of liberal leaders or positions.

"Hillary Clinton's policy proposals are the most progressive of any Democratic Party nominee in history and she has continued to champion them long after the primary ended,” he said. “From holding Wall Street accountable, to ending mass incarceration, to raising the minimum wage, to combating climate change, to making the wealthy pay their fair share, she's worked with progressive allies to aggressively develop serious and thorough plans to make real change."

For RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of the National Nurses Union, though, the emails reveal the true feelings of Clinton’s team toward progressives and their causes, and suggest that if Clinton wins the White House, she won’t be on their side.



“If the WikiLeaks are accurate, the issues closest to our hearts are probably not ones she will embrace, like single payer,” said DeMoro, whose union drew fire from Clinton’s team in the primary when it campaigned aggressively for Sanders.

But DeMoro said Sanders, who has since endorsed Clinton, and his supporters, won’t “be shut down easily,” by a Clinton team that she said came across in the hacked emails as “a pretty imperial bunch. Vindictive.”

In one of the hacked emails, Randi Weingarten, the head of a pro-Clinton teachers union, writes to Podesta that she will “go after NNU and there [sic] high and mighty sanctimonious conduct.”

Weingarten told POLITICO that she regretted the email, explaining “we were in a heated campaign and sometimes you say things that, in retrospect, you wished you hadn’t have said.” But she pointed out that after Sanders, who endorsed Clinton after dropping out, is campaigning aggressively for her, and suggested that his supporters are on board, as well, having helped shape the party’s platform.

“I was really pleased that Hillary Clinton, talking directly to Bernie supporters at the convention, asked them to work with her and 'Let’s make sure that we can win this election so that we can work together on the platform that we drafted together,'” said Weingarten.

But liberal activists spent the week sharing WikiLeaks links of hacked emails in which Clinton and her aides appeared to argue the virtues of more centrist policy positions.

Tanden in one email warned against embracing a $15 federal minimum wage championed by Sanders, while Sullivan called supporters of the proposal “the Red Army.”

In an email released Thursday, Sullivan argued that Clinton should come out in support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP trade deal, while another email indicated that both he and Podesta favored a provision giving Obama authority to negotiate the TPP.

Clinton herself was revealed by WikiLeaks to have raved privately about the TPP before eventually publicly opposing it under pressure from Sanders and the liberal base.

Sullivan voiced concern on a different email chain about having Clinton give support for a bill favored by the left to limit the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington, admitting “I know I sound like I am protecting the plutocrats, but there is a line here — if we go across it we’re just demagoguing [sic].”

Jeff Hauser, a former union official who is executive director of the progressive Center for Economic and Policy Research's Revolving Door Project, singled out the wide influence of Sullivan, whose expertise is in foreign policy, as an area of concern for liberals.

“I am a little surprised at just how prominent Jake Sullivan seems to be on domestic policy issues, and how frequently he represents the right flank of intrastaff disputes,” said Hauser. “I think Sullivan didn't seem to understand — or agree with — the populist turn of the electorate,” adding that “since Clinton has moved leftward, Sullivan's retro 1990s style brand of Clintonism seems out of place in the Democratic Party of 2016.”



While Hauser said “some activists who remained dissatisfied with Clinton found evidence to confirm why they supported Sanders,” he posited, “I don't think there's much new anger, if any. If anything, it is has been encouraging to know Clinton almost embraced, say, Glass-Steagall.”

Another veteran liberal organizer argued that Tanden, who in one email mocked “the puritanical standards of the Bernistas,” was exposed by WikiLeaks as someone about whom the liberal base should be wary.

“She backstabbed progressives, she backstabbed her colleagues, and she even backstabbed Hillary,” the organizer said, pointing to an email in which Tanden wrote that Clinton’s political “instincts are suboptimal.”

The organizer expressed hope that, if Clinton wins, Tanden “is not anywhere near the White House in the next term and is relegated to the skeleton, hollowed out version of CAP. She’s toxic, and you can’t trust her if she’s in the room, or on an email chain, in this case.”

But a congressional aide for a liberal senator defended Tanden, as well as Podesta, pointing out that they argued for progressive stances in some of the WikiLeaks emails.

“I thought it was heartening to see some stuff from Neera and John that came from the other direction,” the aide said, pointing to Tanden’s support for a financial transaction tax, and Podesta’s criticism of former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, who is derided by the left for his role in financial deregulation during Bill Clinton's presidency.

When Summers reached out to top campaign staff and even Bill Clinton himself to offer financial policy advice during the Democratic primary, Podesta urged aides to reject it.

"Worst advice ever," Podesta wrote to Bill Clinton chief of staff Tina Flournoy. "Wrong then, wrong now."

And Faiz Shakir, a former Podesta and Tanden protégé who was criticized by his mentors in the hacked email after they learned he was advising Sanders’ campaign, nonetheless praised Podesta as “a real straight shooter.”

When Tanden learned that Shakir, who had worked at CAP, was advising Sanders, Tanden emailed Podesta: “you know about this? Jesus,” and she labeled as “freaks” a pair of bloggers trained by Shakir who had become critical of Clinton.

Podesta acknowledged in response that Shakir’s affiliation with Sanders “does not go down easy with me,” and said he gave Shakir “a very hard time,” but that he “wish(es) him well in life.”

Shakir said that “of all the people in the WikiLeaks emails, Podesta comes out looking like the most decent, straightforward honest forthright individual. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with him, you get the sense that he always tells you exactly how he feels and doesn’t play games behind your back.”

And Shakir added, “There are a number of times where he has been vindicated as being so much more progressive than where the campaign ultimately ended up … where his own personal inclination is consistent with the progressive base.”

The emails, from Shakir’s perspective, illustrate “the various pressures that cause the debate not to be as progressive as we would like it to be. And it’s uplifting that one of the most senior, well-respected voices in the party is leading that cause."

Several liberal activists said they saw signs in the emails that her team was susceptible to pressure from the left.

Adam Green, co-founder of a group called the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, which has worked to boost liberal hero Elizabeth Warren, said it was “gratifying to see that when nobody was looking, Clinton insiders had immense respect for Sen. Elizabeth Warren and her bold progressive ideas — a positive indicator of the strong voice the Warren wing will hopefully have in a future Clinton administration.”


And Kelly Mitchell, Greenpeace's energy campaign director — alluding to a hacked speech transcript in which Clinton called environmentalists who want to end all fossil fuel extraction “the wildest” and “the most radical” — said, “It’s probably a good thing if we’re getting under the skin of the woman most likely to be the next president."


http://www.politico.com/story/2016/10/wikileaks-hilary-clinton-progressives-

by on Oct. 22, 2016 at 1:27 PM
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Replies (1-10):
VooDooB
by The Corruptor on Oct. 22, 2016 at 1:45 PM
6 moms liked this

Deplorables
Needy Latinos
Super Predators
Backwards Catholics
Jew Bastards
Basement Dwellers
Taco Bowls
Standard Rednecks...


Hillary hates your fucking guts


dawnharvey68
by Silver Member on Oct. 22, 2016 at 1:50 PM
3 moms liked this
I doubt many progressives in the USA or abroad are expecting her to be anything other than what she's proven herself to be based on her opinions and track record: another right wing, neo-liberal, pro-plutocrat war hawk. There's no illusions there. That's what constitutes 'liberal' on the American political spectrum. She's not the first choice of most progressives, but preferred against the ghastly opposition.
VooDooB
by The Corruptor on Oct. 22, 2016 at 3:40 PM
3 moms liked this

If she keeps losing ground like this over the next few weeks America might get a big shock in the ass. I'm starting to wonder if Trump really does stand a chance after all.

Quoting dawnharvey68: I doubt many progressives in the USA or abroad are expecting her to be anything other than what she's proven herself to be based on her opinions and track record: another right wing, neo-liberal, pro-plutocrat war hawk. There's no illusions there. That's what constitutes 'liberal' on the American political spectrum. She's not the first choice of most progressives, but preferred against the ghastly opposition.


Lisa1273
by Silver Member on Oct. 22, 2016 at 3:46 PM
2 moms liked this

Hillary NEVER had my vote!  

I'm glad the truth is coming to the surface so she won't have the last laugh.  It's a shame she's insulted so many behind their backs, yet panders to them for their vote.

How stupid does she think people are?

frustrated

broboxer
by Platinum Member on Oct. 22, 2016 at 4:08 PM
1 mom liked this
Unfortunately, there are a lot of stupid people voting for her.

Quoting Lisa1273:

Hillary NEVER had my vote!  

I'm glad the truth is coming to the surface so she won't have the last laugh.  It's a shame she's insulted so many behind their backs, yet panders to them for their vote.

How stupid does she think people are?

frustrated

LGAll65
by on Oct. 22, 2016 at 6:19 PM
2 moms liked this
There are a lot of stupid people voting for Trump only because they think he " tells it like it is" and he is just as crude as they are .
LauraKW
by "Dude!" on Oct. 22, 2016 at 6:23 PM
3 moms liked this
Did I miss the memo about vowing to back away from HRC?
theResidentCat
by on Oct. 22, 2016 at 7:07 PM

They both talk that way so Im not sure how one is better than the other. Both lie, both cheat the government, both talk trash about people. Only thing is Trump isnt really thought of as a mob compared to the Clintons might be his only advantage :O

Quoting VooDooB:

If she keeps losing ground like this over the next few weeks America might get a big shock in the ass. I'm starting to wonder if Trump really does stand a chance after all.

Quoting dawnharvey68: I doubt many progressives in the USA or abroad are expecting her to be anything other than what she's proven herself to be based on her opinions and track record: another right wing, neo-liberal, pro-plutocrat war hawk. There's no illusions there. That's what constitutes 'liberal' on the American political spectrum. She's not the first choice of most progressives, but preferred against the ghastly opposition.


theResidentCat
by on Oct. 22, 2016 at 7:09 PM
2 moms liked this

Well actually I do think he tells it like it is in some cases... But that doesnt make him qualified or right... He is a big mouth yes, but people are misunderstanding just because he tells it like it is, doesnt mean he is going to do any better. A lot of what he calls out he is guilty of it himself. Strange irony.

Quoting LGAll65: There are a lot of stupid people voting for Trump only because they think he " tells it like it is" and he is just as crude as they are .


Carpy
by Emerald Member on Oct. 22, 2016 at 8:41 PM
1 mom liked this
Obviously some are pretty stupid, judging by her poll numbers.

Quoting Lisa1273:

Hillary NEVER had my vote!  

I'm glad the truth is coming to the surface so she won't have the last laugh.  It's a shame she's insulted so many behind their backs, yet panders to them for their vote.

How stupid does she think people are?

frustrated

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