It’s the kind of bean-counting that the media usually applies to Republicans when they run for high office, and which drive conservatives and libertarians up the wall. When the diversity inventory method gets applied to Democrats, though, it feels much more like sauce for the goose, hoisting by own petards, and so on. That’s why Tim Mak’s query about “white dude-fest 2016” at Team Hillary will get lots of attention on the Right today, as well as the Left:
In interviews with The Daily Beast, nearly a dozen Democrats, said they were worried Clinton’s hires for the top echelons of her pre-campaign haven’t taken gender and racial diversity into account.
Their concern started after early leaks about heavy hitters recruited for the likely 2016 presidential candidate’s proto-campaign all had two distinct things in common: they were white and male.
“Democrats need a leader that can bring together races and nationalities, especially now and especially to win. That starts at the top of the campaign, and Hillary Clinton will need to demonstrate that level of commitment to set the right tone and strategy going forward” said Aimee Allison, senior VP at PowerPAC+, a group founded by major Democratic donor Steve Phillips to build the “political power of the multiracial majority.”
The situation is altogether more jarring, several Democrats interviewed said, when one considers 2008 Hillary’s campaign manager was Patti Solis Doyle, the first Hispanic woman to manage a presidential campaign.
This concern got raised after the Washington Post reported on the front-runners for the top spots on Team Hillary a couple of weeks ago. John Podesta, currently working at the White House and the founder of the Center for American Progress, has long been considered the frontrunner to become the chair of the campaign. Podesta was chief of staff to Bill Clinton and has remained close to the Clintons before and since. Robby Mook worked on Clinton’s last campaign. Hillary already has Joel Benenson on board as chief strategist and Jim Margolis as media advisor, both of whom worked on Barack Obama’s last campaign.
In other words, these aren’t just obscure back-listers whose hirings are a surprise. They’re among the top people on that side of the aisle, and clearly Hillary needs to have an A-list to sell her nostalgia campaign. But then again, neither is the issue of a lack of diversity unusual for Democrats, either. The same was true of Obama’s team at the top during both of his runs for office, especially regarding gender diversity. Hillary and Obama fought constantly on issues of diversity and demographic appeal during 2008, and only at the convention finally put it aside when it became clear that the superdelegates wouldn’t rescue Hillary from her own incompetence.
Anyway, Republicans should enjoy this while they can. Hillary will find ways to expand the upper echelons to respond to the pressure put on her from the grassroots, especially if a legitimate challenger emerges who will make it an issue. Even if she doesn’t, the media will shift its attention to their favorite topic of “Republicans are the White-Dude-Fest Party” soon enough, even if Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Bobby Jindal, Susana Martinez, and Nikki Haley all run for President.