My oh my… Donna Brazile has truly stirred up a hornet’s nest with her new book release. (Which, to be clear, is precisely what she wanted and needed to do to boost sales, so well done.) After her initial accusations of how the DNC had rigged the primary – somehow without her knowledge despite being high up in the power structure – the accusations began flying in both directions inside the Democrats’ camp. The Joint Funding Agreement (JFA) between Hillary Clinton and the DNC was clearly more than the usual revenue-sharing deal, a point which Ed Morrissey made earlier today.
We’re left with the impression that a lot of people inside the Democratic National Committee are saying something was rigged, but nobody is taking responsibility for it or agreeing just how it all came about. Has anyone thought of talking to the person most directly affected by the aforementioned rigging? No… I don’t mean Keith Ellison, though he could probably use a look as well. I’m talking about Bernie Sanders. Even with the deck stacked against him even more than we knew at the time, he came within spitting distance of winning the nomination. And now his campaign is weighing in on the question. Was the primary rigged against him? Oh, you bet your Vermont maple syrup it was, baby. And they’ve got the proof. (NBC News)
Bernie Sanders campaign says they now have proof.
With last year’s primary still roiling the Democratic party more than a year later, two former Bernie Sanders campaign officials are charging the Democratic National Committee offered their campaign a less favorable fundraising deal than Hillary Clinton’s team received…
[T]wo of the Sanders campaign’s former top officials say they were never specifically offered one like Clinton’s and had no knowledge of their rival campaign’s arrangement.
“We had no addendum like this, no memorandum, no agreement like this,” said Mark Longabaugh, who was the campaign’s chief liaison to the DNC. “They basically came to us and said, here’s the agreement, take it or leave it.”
“I had no idea there was side memorandum with the Clinton campaign,” he added.
Meanwhile, Jeff Weaver, the campaign’s former campaign manager, dismissed the clause in Clinton’s agreement limiting engagement exclusively to general election activity as a fig leaf.
As usual, Bernie himself is remaining fairly quiet but his surrogates are still out there trying to clear the air. I didn’t have a tremendous amout of positive things to say about Sanders on the campaign trail because, frankly, electing a card-carrying socialist would likely have been the worst option available in a year with several questionable choices. But he did always seem to keep his tongue in check and not air too much dirty laundry.
It was obvious to everyone observing the Democratic primary that it was rigged from the beginning. As soon as they announced the schedule for the debates, frequently up against other major television events in lower viewership timeslots, it was obvious that the party didn’t want too much of the country hearing from Bernie during Hillary’s march to destiny. But even then he just kept holding rallies and fighting to get his message out. You have to tip your hat to the guy for his restraint.
Now we learn that there were backroom deals going on and the national committee was set to hand over control of the party to Hillary Clinton well before the first votes were ever cast. And why not, right? Everyone assumed she was going to breeze through to victory in both the primary and the general election. But now, with the details leaking out to all of us who were never supposed to know about it, Sanders’ people are hopping mad.
And who can blame them? In a tight race such as that one turned out to be, any advantage, no matter how small, might have made the difference. Would Sanders have won the general election if he’d taken the nomination? I’m not so sure about that. He wasn’t selling anything that would have been significantly more popular in the marginal states where Trump cleaned up. But it would have made for some interesting debates, I can assure you.