The Clinton Blood Bath

Early in the race Hillary Clinton had a huge lead in superdelegates as many party insiders backed her early. The word was that people were being told that either they backed Clinton or they would be on the outside once Clinton won (which at the time was considered inevitable by many). Many gave in to this, knowing that the Clintons have a long memory and hold a grudge. This became apparent with the reaction to Bill Richardson’s endorsement of Barack Obama. Eleanor Clift considers the blood bath which will occur if Hillary Clinton does manage to pull out the nomination:

I’m beginning to think Hillary Clinton might pull this off and wrestle the nomination away from Barack Obama. If she does, a lot of folks—including a huge chunk of the media—will join Bill Richardson (a.k.a. Judas) in the Deep Freeze. If the Clintons get back into the White House, it will be retribution time, like the Corleone family consolidating power in “The Godfather,” where the watchword is, “It’s business, not personal.”

Not that anyone will be sleeping with the fishes with Hillary in the White House, but with the Clintons it’s business and it’s personal. Just think of all the scores to settle, the grievances to indulge. Bill Clinton provided a preview this week, blaming the Obama campaign for playing the race card against him. Tricky maneuver, but perhaps the only way the former president can come to grips with his loss of standing in the African-American community, once his strongest constituency. (South Carolina Rep. James Clyburn, an undeclared superdelegate who is African-American, told the New York Times this week that the black community had supported Clinton during his impeachment and that “I think black folks feel strongly that this is a strange way [for him] to show his appreciation.”)

There are a number of prominent Democrats who will be on the Clinton hate list, and they are making this clear in the hopes of dissuading other Democrats from backing Obama.

Notables who abandoned her for Obama will get the Big Chill. “He’s dead to us,” a Clinton aide was quoted saying of John Kerry, who along with Ted Kennedy was turned off by the perception of race baiting that led up to the South Carolina primary.

Matthew Yglesias notes that Clinton cannot afford to freeze out all the Democrats who are not backing her:

…current Obama endorsers include, among others, the Senators who chair the committees on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (Kennedy), Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs (Dodd), Judiciary (Leahy), and Budget (Conrad). Unless Clinton is uncommonly stupid, she’s not really going to try to govern the country while freezing those guys not. Nor would it make any sense to make a big push for health care reform while simultaneously freezing out the Obama-backers in SEIU.

Yglesias believes they are making an example of Kerry as he is “noteworthy enough for his endorsement to matter” but he does not hold an important committee chair. It could still be a mistake to have John Kerry loose in the Senate as one’s enemy. He’s just the type of honorable guy who would push the Senate to hold the Clintons accountable regardless of party. I’m also not so sure that we can assume that the Clintons won’t follow the path which Clift predicts even if not politically wise. They have made it clear this year that their personal egos and desire for power outweigh all other considerations.

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    libgirl says:

    It is sad to see this side of a former Democratic President and First Lady. Enemies lists always seemed to be a last resort of politicians slipping into paranoia. What the Clintons have likely done with these actions is to have finally exhasted the good will of Democrats who have been there for them for decades.  This article ignores that Senator Kerry has said that no matter who gets the nomination, he will “work his heart out”. If it is our misfortune that HRC is the nominee, I would be willing to bet that she would not reject John Kerry as a surrogate, as he has always been a very effective one – especially in hitting McCain’s position on Iraq. The author of the quoted article has fallen victim to the MSM effort to diminish Senator Kerry. He also chairs a committee that is easily as important as some of the others named. He was the author as much as any other Senator of the current Democratic Iraq position and more than anyone convinced the country we need to set a deadline and get out.  Though the Clintons hate him, she uses his words when speaking of Iraq and terrorism.
    He is also the Senator who has behind the scenes for the most part taken the lead on global warming.  Kerry was the Congressional delegation to Bali. Though the media gave little attention to this – Kerry was praised in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by the Bush administration for the work he did there. The President’s chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality, James Connaughton, spoke before the SFRC hearing chaired by Senator Menendez. Mr. Connaughton was part of the President’s delegation who attended the second week of the Bali Conference. Because of the Senate schedule, Senator Kerry flew 40 hours round trip to spend 36 hours as the sole US Congressional representative to the conference. At a SFRC hearing earlier this year, Mr. Connaughton, who represented President Bush said:
    “I would particularly also want to call out thanks to Senator Kerry for coming to Bali. I would note that the remarks he gave in Bali were very constructive in helping to educate the international community on the needs, what it would take for America to move forward together in a bi-partisan way. I thought those remarks were very well received. Senator Kerry, thank you for that.”
    Listening to the hearing, the Senator is praised for his leadership on this issue by both Republicans and Democrats.

    Here was even stronger praise from an earth day SFRC hearing: Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat (around 4 minutes in) said:

    “The fact that we had a treaty was significantly due to the fact that Senator Kerry was there. He was a virtual part of our negotiating team, without his day and night support and lobbying of the EU. we would not have gotten a treaty.… . (I was surprised to see this on Kerryvision because I had heard nothing on this and it was the same day Kerry did an amazing job on the Future of the Internet hearing.
    He also will be one of the Senators working with Kennedy on the actual health care bill that will go to the Democratic President. When you combine all three of these, you have someone who will be a power in the Senate. It is also true that that power comes from the good work he has done – not because he twisted arms.
    Though Senator Kerry will likely never be President, he likely deserves to prouder and happier with who he is and his life – after all in addition to anything he’s accomplished as a Senator, he will be remembered as the moral young man who asked, “How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?”, where President Clinton may be most remembered by his eloquent words, “I did not have …..” and HRC may be forever tied to her “heroics” in Bosnia. (That beg the question – Why did Clinton have no problem with his wife speaking of non existent sniper fire, but said he would consider voting Bush if Kerry spoke of Vietnam again – and Kerry never spoke of being under sniper fire.)

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