“A lot of the bundlers and donors still are in shock and disbelief by what happened. They’re looking for some introspection and analysis about what really happened, what worked and what didn’t,” said Ken Martin, chairman of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and a top campaign bundler himself. “It may take some time to do that, but people are still just scratching their heads.”
Or, in the words of a Midwestern fundraiser who’s kept in touch with fellow donors, “A lot of people are saying, ‘I’m not putting another fucking dime in until someone tells me what just happened.’”…
But without a framework for holding anyone accountable, increasingly annoyed party money men and women have been left to chatter among themselves about the underlying causes of the party’s defeat and about how to move forward. Some have gone as far as to ignore calls from former Clinton finance officials seeking to thank them, while others muse about leaving politics altogether. A handful of the party’s top donors have even turned to considering direct involvement: Illinois’ J.B. Pritzker and Florida’s John Morgan are considering gubernatorial runs of their own, as is California’s Tom Steyer, who’s been keeping his name in the news by cranking out a steady stream of furious news releases about Trump’s Cabinet nominations.
“Everybody’s still frankly stunned, and in the back of their minds they think they’re going to wake up tomorrow morning and all of this never happened, including me,” said Patricof. “People are all asking the question of what’s next, who’s next in the Democratic Party leadership, who are the up-and-coming people ahead of 2020. But at this point, it’s [just] a lot of questions.”