Book: Hillary Clinton’s 2008 Campaign Kept ‘Traitor’s List’ With John Kerry at the Top

Posted by on Jan 13, 2014 at 7:31 am

We doubt this enemies list only goes back to 2008. It’s quite likely she’s got a 10-volume list of traitors dating back decades.

Aides on Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign kept a detailed list of party colleagues who staffers believed had betrayed her during the long and bitter primary battle with President Obama, a new book reveals.

The list included rankings, with those who were considered the most egregious traitors by Clinton loyalists receiving the worst possible score of 7 on a point scale.

Then-Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who would ultimately succeed Clinton as Secretary of State in the Obama administration, was among those receiving the blackest of black marks, according to the bookHRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton by The Hill’s Amie Parnes and Politico’s Jonathan Allen.

So too was Kerry’s Senate colleague from Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy, who died in 2009. Also on the political hit-list were Sens. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) as well as Reps. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Rob Andrews (D-N.J.) and Baron Hill (D-Ind).

The book makes clear the depth of the wounds inflicted during the primary struggle.

“Years later,” Parnes and Allen write, Clinton aides “would joke about the fates of folks who they felt had betrayed them. ‘Bill Richardson: investigated; John Edwards: disgraced by scandal; Chris Dodd: stepped down,’ one said to another. ‘Ted Kennedy,’ the aide continued, lowering his voice to a whisper for the punch line, ‘dead.’”

You’ll recall the Kennedys stepped up to endorse Obama back in 2008, which many believe helped provide him with a surge of momentum. No wonder they reacted gleefully to Ted Kennedy’s death. Really charming, these people. Why, they even have a hit list.

There was a special circle of Clinton hell reserved for people who had endorsed Obama or stayed on the fence after Bill and Hillary had raised money for them, appointed them to a political post, or written a recommendation to ice their kid’s application to an elite school.

On one early draft of the hit list, each Democratic member of Congress was assigned a numerical grade from one to seven, with the most helpful to Hillary earning ones and the most treacherous drawing sevens. The set of sevens included Sens. John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, Bob Casey, and Patrick Leahy, as well as Reps. Chris Van Hollen, Baron Hill, and Rob Andrews.

Yet even seven didn’t seem strong enough to quantify the betrayal of some onetime allies.

When the Clintons sat in judgment, Claire McCaskill got the seat closest to the fire. Bill and Hillary had gone all out for her when she ran for Senate in Missouri in 2006. But McCaskill seemed to forget that favor when NBC’s Tim Russert asked her whether Bill had been a great president, during a “Meet the Press” debate against then-Sen. Jim Talent in October 2006.

“He’s been a great leader,” McCaskill said of Bill, “but I don’t want my daughter near him.”

Instantly, McCaskill regretted her remark; the anguish brought her “to the point of epic tears,” according to a friend. She knew the comment had sounded much more deliberate than a forgivable slip of the tongue. So did Hillary, who immediately canceled a planned fundraiser for McCaskill.

A few days later McCaskill called Bill Clinton to offer a tearful apology. Bill was gracious, which just made McCaskill feel worse. After winning the seat, she was terrified of running into Hillary Clinton in the Capitol. “I really don’t want to be in an elevator alone with her,” McCaskill confided to the friend.

Can we get back to trashing Chris Christie now that Mrs. Clinton’s 2016 vetting is over and done with?

Many of the other names on the traitor side of the ledger were easy to remember, from Ted Kennedy to John Lewis, the civil rights icon whose defection had been so painful that Bill Clinton seemed to be in a state of denial about it. In private conversations, he tried to explain away Lewis’s motivations for switching camps midstream, after Obama began ratcheting up pressure for black lawmakers to get on “the right side of history.”

Hating on a black man? Why, that’s racist. Whatever the case, the authors of this book may want to hire food-tasters and check under their vehicles. Just saying.


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