Just as Hillary Clinton was preparing to announce Virginia Senator Tim Kaine as her running mate and segue into the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Wikileaks published nearly 20,000 DNC emails whose contents will make it harder than ever for Clinton to unite voters around her campaign. After denying for months that they were playing favorites in the primaries, party officials are now being exposed by their own private communications.
In one email from May 21, DNC official Mark Paustenbach asked a colleague about presenting reporters with a new lens through which they could view the Bernie Sanders campaign. On the heels of a report that showed Sanders’ campaign obtained access to Clinton’s voter data, Paustenbach wrote, “Wondering if there’s a good Bernie narrative for a story, which is that Bernie never ever had his act together, that his campaign was a mess.”
His colleague – communications director Luis Miranda – replied: “True, but the Chair has been advised not to engage. So we’ll have to leave it alone.”
In another interesting exchange, DNC financial officer Brad Marshall appeared to suggest launching a religious attack on the Vermont senator. “It might make no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his beliefs?” Marshall wrote. “Does he believe in God? He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.”
Laughably, Marshall said this week that the email was not in reference to Sanders. “It would probably be about a surrogate,” he told The Intercept.
Which, of course, still leaves the central question on the table: Why would the DNC be formulating attacks on Sanders or one of his surrogates? This organization has said all along that it was completely neutral.
To avoid addressing that question, the Clinton campaign has decided to try a unique strategy: Blame the Russians.
“There’s evidence Russian state actors broke into the RNC, stole those emails, and there are experts saying they are releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” said Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook. “We need to be concerned Trump and his allies made changes to the platform to make it more pro-Russian, and we saw him talking about how NATO shouldn’t intervene. So I think when you put it all together, it’s a disturbing picture.”
Sure, if you have the brain of a flea and that brain is oriented towards ridiculous, conspiratorial thinking.
For everyone else, the disturbing part of the picture is in the emails themselves. Bernie and his supporters were right all along; the DNC coronated Hillary a long time ago. Now we’ll see if their hubris costs them the big prize in November.