Obama's grand plan playing out, with Hillary Clinton as the first victim

A few months ago I speculated that Barack Obama’s actions could be interpreted as part of a plan to control the agenda of the Democrats going forward (see Obama’s Grand Plan).  Giving up on support from most of America, he was seeking to consolidate support among the Hispanic and African-American communities so he could wield them as a voting bloc in the future.  He would out-Al Sharpton Al Sharpton – complete with his presidential pedigree.  As a potential kingmaker, he would coerce Democrats to do his bidding years into the future.

I also thought he might use control of his database of Obama supporters as a tool to bend people to his will.  And we know few politicians as bendable/flexible as Hillary Clinton.  

It now seems likely that Barack Obama is holding his control over these voters over Hillary Clinton’s head.

Amie Parnes and Niail Stanage write in The Hill of power plays behind the scenes:

New tensions are emerging in the relationship between allies of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. 

At issue is the fate of the political equivalent of gold dust — the enormous email list, comprised of many millions of supporters and donors, that the Obama team has compiled over the course of his two presidential campaigns.

The Clinton camp would dearly love to get its hands on the list, but there is no promise as yet that the president’s aides will comply.

There are “large concerns” about the lists among Clinton supporters, one Hillary ally told The Hill.

To the Clintons and their friends, it’s near unthinkable that a Democratic president — who has plenty of reasons to want a member of his party to succeed him — would withhold such a valuable commodity. 

Surely, they jest.  There is nothing unthinkable when it comes to Barack Obama, so it is entirely likely that he won’t share his list with Hillary Clinton unless there is payback.

First of all, he won’t “share” such a valuable list – he will keep that list to himself.  Why give away the golden goose when it could continue paying off for him in decades to come?  Pundits have wondered why Barack Obama incessantly keeps sending out tweets about himself and Michelle, and why he does absurd and embarrassing (for thinking people) YouTube shows.  He wants to maintain the support of those people once he leaves office.  Those are the people who will likely “stay with him” in the years to come.  He wants to continue to have what his data analytics people call “touches.”  His followers want those “touches" – they mean he cares.  Of course, rock stars, actors, and sports stars have the same type of outreach, complete with notes and e-mails “signed” by them – electronic signatures reminiscent of autopens.  People want to feel the “love” from their idols.  Obama has tapped into that yearning.

Meanwhile, the geniuses back in the offices of his data team are gathering information to add to their database.  They can continue massaging that data, tweaking appeals, monitoring what works to prompt responses.  During his campaigns, the point was not to collect $5 donations; the point was always to collect names, contact information, interests, targets, and ultimately harvest voters from their efforts.

Assuming there is a deal arranged, Obama may serve as a middleman:

Asked about the likely fate of the data, the strategist expressed uncertainty as to how the internal discussions would shake out. The person floated the idea of a compromise under which Obama could send out emails to his own list, but then include a link to a Hillary-specific site to which his supporters could donate.

The gathering storm over the email lists is just the latest example of the complicated dynamics that underpin the Obama-Clinton relationship. It is revealing that the tensions have flared before the former first lady has even officially launched her 2016 campaign.

Obama himself might have made the first big speech of the 2016 election last week, with his State of the Union address. The president asserted that he had been vindicated by events in the face of Republican opposition, tweaked the GOP a number of times, and made appeals to key demographic groups, including women and Latinos.

Obama might not be on the ballot in November 2016, but the election will mean a great deal for his legacy. 

For any president, even an outgoing one, such an election is inevitably seen as a referendum on their tenure. For Obama specifically, a Democratic successor would solidify his biggest achievements — notably healthcare reform — whereas a Republican in the Oval Office would seek to dislodge them.

“One of the most important things for his legacy is to make sure there’s a Democratic president to prevent a lot of the work from getting rolled back,” said Tommy Vietor, a former longtime Obama aide who worked briefly for Clinton during her book rollout last year.

One question is what Obama can do to help Clinton — or whoever turns out to be the Democratic nominee — to win. 

Here is the answer on how Obama can help: he can act as a conduit for e-mails and other outreach effort to Obama supporters; he can fundraise; he can endorse; and he can use his sway with his voting bloc of supporters to vote for a particular candidate to consolidate his “achievements,” and promote and protect his left-wing agenda: Obamacare, government control at home over many aspects of our lives, and surrender to our adversaries: aggression at home, appeasement abroad.

Democrats will have to kiss his ring to gain his help.  Hillary is no doubt already puckering up.

A few months ago I speculated that Barack Obama’s actions could be interpreted as part of a plan to control the agenda of the Democrats going forward (see Obama’s Grand Plan).  Giving up on support from most of America, he was seeking to consolidate support among the Hispanic and African-American communities so he could wield them as a voting bloc in the future.  He would out-Al Sharpton Al Sharpton – complete with his presidential pedigree.  As a potential kingmaker, he would coerce Democrats to do his bidding years into the future.

I also thought he might use control of his database of Obama supporters as a tool to bend people to his will.  And we know few politicians as bendable/flexible as Hillary Clinton.  

It now seems likely that Barack Obama is holding his control over these voters over Hillary Clinton’s head.

Amie Parnes and Niail Stanage write in The Hill of power plays behind the scenes:

New tensions are emerging in the relationship between allies of President Obama and Hillary Clinton. 

At issue is the fate of the political equivalent of gold dust — the enormous email list, comprised of many millions of supporters and donors, that the Obama team has compiled over the course of his two presidential campaigns.

The Clinton camp would dearly love to get its hands on the list, but there is no promise as yet that the president’s aides will comply.

There are “large concerns” about the lists among Clinton supporters, one Hillary ally told The Hill.

To the Clintons and their friends, it’s near unthinkable that a Democratic president — who has plenty of reasons to want a member of his party to succeed him — would withhold such a valuable commodity. 

Surely, they jest.  There is nothing unthinkable when it comes to Barack Obama, so it is entirely likely that he won’t share his list with Hillary Clinton unless there is payback.

First of all, he won’t “share” such a valuable list – he will keep that list to himself.  Why give away the golden goose when it could continue paying off for him in decades to come?  Pundits have wondered why Barack Obama incessantly keeps sending out tweets about himself and Michelle, and why he does absurd and embarrassing (for thinking people) YouTube shows.  He wants to maintain the support of those people once he leaves office.  Those are the people who will likely “stay with him” in the years to come.  He wants to continue to have what his data analytics people call “touches.”  His followers want those “touches" – they mean he cares.  Of course, rock stars, actors, and sports stars have the same type of outreach, complete with notes and e-mails “signed” by them – electronic signatures reminiscent of autopens.  People want to feel the “love” from their idols.  Obama has tapped into that yearning.

Meanwhile, the geniuses back in the offices of his data team are gathering information to add to their database.  They can continue massaging that data, tweaking appeals, monitoring what works to prompt responses.  During his campaigns, the point was not to collect $5 donations; the point was always to collect names, contact information, interests, targets, and ultimately harvest voters from their efforts.

Assuming there is a deal arranged, Obama may serve as a middleman:

Asked about the likely fate of the data, the strategist expressed uncertainty as to how the internal discussions would shake out. The person floated the idea of a compromise under which Obama could send out emails to his own list, but then include a link to a Hillary-specific site to which his supporters could donate.

The gathering storm over the email lists is just the latest example of the complicated dynamics that underpin the Obama-Clinton relationship. It is revealing that the tensions have flared before the former first lady has even officially launched her 2016 campaign.

Obama himself might have made the first big speech of the 2016 election last week, with his State of the Union address. The president asserted that he had been vindicated by events in the face of Republican opposition, tweaked the GOP a number of times, and made appeals to key demographic groups, including women and Latinos.

Obama might not be on the ballot in November 2016, but the election will mean a great deal for his legacy. 

For any president, even an outgoing one, such an election is inevitably seen as a referendum on their tenure. For Obama specifically, a Democratic successor would solidify his biggest achievements — notably healthcare reform — whereas a Republican in the Oval Office would seek to dislodge them.

“One of the most important things for his legacy is to make sure there’s a Democratic president to prevent a lot of the work from getting rolled back,” said Tommy Vietor, a former longtime Obama aide who worked briefly for Clinton during her book rollout last year.

One question is what Obama can do to help Clinton — or whoever turns out to be the Democratic nominee — to win. 

Here is the answer on how Obama can help: he can act as a conduit for e-mails and other outreach effort to Obama supporters; he can fundraise; he can endorse; and he can use his sway with his voting bloc of supporters to vote for a particular candidate to consolidate his “achievements,” and promote and protect his left-wing agenda: Obamacare, government control at home over many aspects of our lives, and surrender to our adversaries: aggression at home, appeasement abroad.

Democrats will have to kiss his ring to gain his help.  Hillary is no doubt already puckering up.