Maureen Dowd Trashes David Brock, Hillary Clinton Campaign

AP / Steven Senne, Elise Amendola, Danny Johnston
AP / Steven Senne, Elise Amendola, Danny Johnston

If David Brock’s goal is to push back against negative coverage of Hillary Clinton, he has only increased it this week, fueling the media meme that Hillary Clinton is a divisive figure incapable of running a cohesive campaign.

If not picking a fight with someone who buys ink by the barrel is smart advice, Brock consistently ignores it, just as he has in starting a fight with the New York Times.  A significant part of it involves an open letter Brock penned to the times in August of 2013.

An Open Letter to The New York Times:

I am writing to express my concern about a recent string of reports and columns from your publication that have done nothing but use false pretenses to cast a shadow on Bill and Hillary Clinton. It says a lot that Rush Limbaugh applauded your “injurious” work on the former first family yesterday afternoon on his radio program. This recent pattern is all the more worrisome in light of your political editor’s decision to assign a reporter to cover Hillary Clinton, now a private citizen with no announced political plans, more than three years before the next presidential election.

Today,  prominent columnist Maureen Dowd picks up[ where Brock left off. In the end, it’s hard to see how this helps Hillary Clinton, Inc. one bit.

 The Rottweilers will be unleashed.

Once the Clintons had a War Room. Now they have a Slime Room.

Once they had the sly James Carville, fondly known as “serpenthead.” Now they have the slippery David Brock, accurately known as a snake.

Brock fits into the Clinton tradition of opportunistic knife-fighters like Dick Morris and Mark Penn.

The result is a Times portrait of precisely how Hillary does not want to be seen – yet, often is.

Hillary hasn’t announced a 2016 campaign yet. She’s busy polling more than 200 policy experts on how to show that she really cares about the poor while courting the banks. Yet her shadow campaign is already in a déjà-vu-all-over-again shark fight over control of the candidate and her money. It’s the same old story: The killer organization that, even with all its ruthless hired guns, can’t quite shoot straight.

Squabbling competing factions helped Hillary squander a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in 2008.

As Nicholas Confessore and Amy Chozick chronicled, the nasty dispute spilled into public and Brock resigned last week from the board of a pro-Clinton “super-PAC” called Priorities USA Action — whose co-chairman is Jim Messina, Obama’s 2012 campaign manager — accusing the political action committee of “an orchestrated political hit job” and “the kind of dirty trick I’ve witnessed in the right-wing and would not tolerate then.”

Perhaps John Podesta, as Dowd suggests, can step in and give Hillary the kind of campaign she didn’t have in 2008 – one that wins. But for now, the same old shenanigans too long associated with Clinton, Inc. are rearing their ugly heads. If she isn’t careful, that might make a potential non-candidate-in-waiting, Elizabeth Warren, looks even more attractive to Democrats that she is already. Should Hillary stumble early, it might not take long for the party faithful to start calling for someone else to step up.

Axelrod reiterated to me that Hillary’s designated campaign chairman, John Podesta, Bill Clinton’s last chief of staff who left his post as an Obama counselor on Friday, “has the strength and standing to enforce a kind of campaign discipline that hasn’t existed before.”


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