Long knives being unsheathed as ‘dump Hillary’ initiative floated
Like a lame wildebeest on the Serengeti, Hillary Clinton’s illness is attracting the attention of those who see opportunity. Make no mistake: the Clintons, for all the superficial unity the Democrats bludgeon each other into, have sparked a lot of resentment and made a lot of enemies over the years.
On top of that, there is a legitimate case to be made that the specter of losing to Trump is scary enough that For the Good of the Party, the DNC should meet in private and dump her.
Yesterday, it was the Morning of the Long Knives.
Cokie Roberts spread the word to NPR listeners (a Venn diagram of Democrat contributors and NPR contributors would show a lot of overlap, I’d wager).
It’s taking her off of the campaign trail,” said Roberts Monday morning, indicating that the pneumonia has forced Clinton to cancel her upcoming trip to California. But as for members of the Democratic party, “It has them very nervously beginning to whisper about her stepping aside and finding another candidate.”
Keep in mind that Roberts is Democrat aristocracy in a party that worships dynasties, the daughter of two powerful House of Representatives members. Her father, majority leader of the House when he died in a plane crash, was first elected to the House half a century before Bill Clinton ran for national office. Her mother took over the seat.
To a certain kind of influential Democrat, Cokie speaks for much more than herself.
The other knife unsheathed came from David Axelrod, the red diaper baby whose major role in the rise of Barack Obama from obscurity to the presidency is poorly appreciated.
Antibiotics can take care of pneumonia. What's the cure for an unhealthy penchant for privacy that repeatedly creates unnecessary problems?— David Axelrod (@davidaxelrod) September 12, 2016
An “unhealthy penchant for privacy” is an incurable disease, Axelrod is implying. Hillary’s illness is, in the words of fellow Chicago pol Rahm Emanual, a crisis that should not go to waste.
Nobody is going to say it out loud, but the real message is that Hillary is blowing it, and it is time to convene the DNC and pull out all the knives.
The best response the Brooklyn Brain Trust could come up with was lame:
We could have done better yesterday, but it is a fact that public knows more about HRC than any nominee in history. https://t.co/Q50oHK85wQ— Jennifer Palmieri (@jmpalmieri) September 12, 2016
Then another party elder chimed in, just in case:
“Now is the time for all good political leaders to come to the aid of their party,” said Don Fowler, who helmed the DNC from 1995 to 1997, during Bill Clinton’s presidency, and has backed Hillary Clinton since her 2008 presidential bid. “I think the plan should be developed by 6 o’clock this afternoon.”
It’s nothing personal, Hillary. Just business.
Fowler said he expects Clinton to fully recover from her bout with pneumonia, which forced her to leave a Sept. 11 memorial event early and cancel an early-week fundraising swing. But he said the Democratic Party would be mistaken to proceed without a contingency plan. The party's existing rules empower the DNC to name a replacement candidate but include few guidelines or parameters.
“It’s something you would be a fool not to prepare for,” he said in an interview on Monday. He added a note of caution, should Clinton attempt an expeditious return to the campaign trail.
“She better get well before she gets back out there because if she gets back out there too soon, it might happen again,” he said.
These rumbles are not to be ignored, for they are related to tectonic forces in the Democratic Party.
Hat tip: Dennis Miller