Posted by: Randy Allgaier | March 28, 2008

Threatening the Speaker? What is going on with the Clinton campaign?


I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard about the letter that was sent by some of the Democratic Party’s biggest donors and Clinton supporters to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi with a veiled threat that she better watch her step or else…  The letter stated “We have been strong supporters of the DCCC. We therefore urge you to clarify your position on super-delegates and reflect in your comments a more open view to the optional independent actions of each of the delegates at the National Convention in August.”

Among the signees of the letter were prominent Democrats all of whom are Clinton supporters like Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television; Bernard Schwartz, former chairman of Loral Space and Communications; and venture capitalist Steven Rattner. Remember Robert Johnson’s choice remarks before the South Carolina primary? He raised the specter of Barack Obama’s past drug use. He also compared Mr. Obama to Sidney Poitier, the black actor, in “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.” After Senator Clinton’s disastrous performance in South Carolina one would think the last thing she needs is for Johnson to insinuate himself into the campaign again.

It was only 11 days ago that I pledged to a moratorium among some of us in the blogosphere who have a vested interest in seeing that there isn’t a McCain presidency (translation- a third Bush Presidency). But after this outrageous bullying tactic, I cannot remain silent. I will not make comments about Mrs. Clinton, but I will attack these big wig supporters. After all we do not have “proof” that her campaign was behind this outrageous threat so I will not speculate. However, sometimes the Clinton look like they are campaigning for John McCain- could they really want to see Obama lose the race should he be the nominee so that Mrs. Clinton has one more shot at the nomination in 2012? No one really knows for sure and as I said I will not speculate. But I think everyone is free to draw their own conclusions.

“The New York Daily News” reports that the “brazen move by Camp Clinton stunned veteran Democrats, particularly because at least eight of the letter’s authors have not donated to” the DCCC since Pelosi became speaker. One unnamed Democrat is quoted saying Clinton “looks desperate. There is no way they should have threatened to do this. It is terrible. … I am sure Obama is raising money off of it already.”

Messrs. Rattner, Schwartz and Johnson have nerve. Are they threatening to decimate the Democratic party in order to shore up Senator Clinton’s political career? And do they really think that they matter anymore? Look at Senator Obama’s fundraising power. There is not nearly the need for these rich fat cats as there was just four years ago. Their style of politics is “so yesterday”. Don’t these folks realize that so far this race has shattered every conventional metric and strategy that have been used in politics for decades? The work has changed folks.

My favorite comment was that of Chris Matthews when he decided to be kind to these donors and instead of calling them “fat cats” he decided to call them “ambassadors in waiting”.

Indirectly responding to a threat made by these “ambassador want to be’s”, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pledged Friday to “do whatever it takes to protect” Democratic House candidates from falling victim to the exceedingly nasty and protracted Democratic presidential primary.

In an email that I received, as a Democratic donor to the DCCC:

Dear Randy,

Here’s what you and I can’t let happen. We can’t allow the tension and pressures of a spirited Presidential contest to spill over and harm hard-working Democratic candidates running to strengthen our Democratic majority in the House.

I will do whatever it takes to protect our candidates and make sure their campaigns to drive change forward don’t skip a beat. I need you to do the same. Please support our candidates now with a donation to the DCCC before the critical March 31st deadline hits by going to www.dccc.org/deadline.  

Throughout the Presidential nominating process, I have been so proud to watch Democrats turn out in record numbers and demonstrate enormous grassroots energy. And soon we will have an exciting presidential nominee who will make our entire party proud.

She or he will lead our energized and united Democratic Party in the larger fight against John McCain, and his plan for 100 more years of war in Iraq. Now is the time to capitalize on the excitement that is sweeping the nation to ensure that our next President has a strong Democratic majority in the House to work with as we undo the damage from President Bush’s failed economic policies.

Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House of Representatives
Sent Wirelessly Via Blackberry

Thank you Madame Speaker! Thank you to standing up to bullies! And thank you for speaking your mind and being gracious, strategic and timely in how you responded to this outrageous threat. Do these idiots not realize that a divided party could self destruct and lose? Do these morons not realize that even if we have a President Clinton or President Obama, they will be able to accomplish very little of their agenda without a Congress that has a comfortable Democratic majority and one that is friendly to the administration?

I would normally ask if these people were just stupid, but they are all too successful to be stupid. I guess it’s just hubris. When you have wealth and power you sometimes think that you can control the strings. Guess what- they can’t. It seems that in this election, the regular person is the donor to be wooed, not the wealthy party “movers”.

What a lovely world it would be without the influence of the wealthy and the lobbyists trumping the will of the vast majority of our country. Isn’t that exactly why I am supporting Senator Obama?

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