The New York Post and Citizens United’s executive vice president say Republican administrations magnanimously hire liberal Democrats to fill positions in their Cabinet departments. Someone should educate them that this is not accurate.
Hillary Clinton’s current campaign manager kept a list of people who were not to receive State Department jobs being doled out — just as the new secretary of state entered the Obama administration — The Post has exclusively learned.
“We are beginning the process of separating people we may want to hire from people we do not want to hire at all,” Robby Mook, the wunderkind 36-year-old campaign manager, wrote in an email to various Clinton officials. The email was sent Feb. 23, 2009, just two weeks after Clinton assumed the job as secretary of state.
“Below is a list of people we are proposing NOT to hire (the ‘no-offer’ list), along with the name of the person who submitted their resume,” Mook added.
Mook’s email was released by Citizens United, the conservative group that obtained the message through a Freedom of Information Act request from the State Department.
The email was sent to Clinton confidants Minyon Moore and Tamzera Luzzatto, as well as close Clinton aides and State Department officials Cheryl Mills, Capricia Marshall and Huma Abedin, among others. Tina Flournoy, Bill Clinton’s chief of staff, was on the email chain as well.
— Clinton’s campaign manager kept blacklist of potential hires, Daniel Halper, The New York Post, yesterday.
This, folks, is labeled “News Exclusive”. Just so you won’t confuse it with, say, “Non-Newsworthy Information, Because It Falls Into the Category of ‘Staffing the New Administration’s Cabinet Departments in Accordance With the Election Results’”.
The article does point out that Mook was not working for Clinton. Uh-oh. Specifically, it says:
At the time, Mook does not appear to have been employed by Clinton. He had worked on Clinton’s unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid and then managed the campaign for Jeanne Shaheen, the New Hampshire Democratic senator. A few months after the email was sent, Mook went to work for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
It also appears that Mook, unlike Mr. Halper and his editors, knows the difference between Civil Service positions and, y’know, positions that are not Civil Service positions, wanted to be fair and not mistake a non-enemy for an enemy who as an enemy had the audacity to submit a resume and job application for a non-Civil Service position. So he wrote in that email:
WE RECOGNIZE THERE MAY BE MISTAKES IN THIS LIST, which is why we are circulating it for comments. If you believe someone on this list should be considered for a position, please send their name to email@example.com. If you do not send to firstname.lastname@example.org, we cannot guarantee that we will get the information processed,” Mook implored.
“Please keep in mind when editing this list that we have over 1,300 applications and less than 180 jobs to slot — we must be selective. Pretend you work for the Harvard admissions department,” the email concluded.
But don’t think Mr. Halper is an incompetent journalist. He’s clearly not, since he does know an illegal political blacklist when he sees one, and also has the contact information of Citizens United executive vice president Michael Boos and can get a good quote from him conflating the decision to reject employment applications of ideologically or politically unfriendly applicants for jobs normally filled in White House administrations by people who are friendly to the administration ideologically or politically with Richard Nixon’s Enemies List listing the names of unfriendly journalists and others whose tax returns should be reviewed by the I.R.S. and who should have dossiers about them opened at the F.B.I. and the C.I.A.
In an appropriately breathless tone, he writes:
The names on the blacklist were redacted upon their release from the State Department to Citizens United.
The blacklist. Got it? And he follows that with the money quote, writing:
Hillary Clinton’s similarities to Richard Nixon are more striking than anyone could have imagined,” Michael Boos, Citizens United executive vice president, told The Post. “Now we’ve learned she even maintained a secretive blacklist while heading the State Department. The American people deserve to know who is on that list,” Boos added.
I’m sort of relieved about this, now that the polls are tightening. At least we can be sure that if Trump wins the election he’ll stop soliciting and accepting advice from Robert Mercer, his daughter Rebeka, John Rakolta Jr., Sheldon Adelson, and the other far-right billionaires whom Trump is accepting advice from and making tacit promises to in exchange for their extensive financial support for his campaign. Including during meetings in The Hamptons. Which is strange, considering that according to the news media no major-party presidential nominee this year other than Clinton is allowed to enter for the purpose of seeking campaign contributions.
I guess Trump is violating those municipal ordinances, and is attending fundraisers there—as are a few of his billionaire donors, who are violating the ordinance sections proscribing contributing to the delinquency of a presidential candidate not named Hillary Clinton.
At least according to the Washington Post’s terrific Matea Gold, who reported on this, in-depth, all the way back on Sept. 1. And whose reporting no one but me noticed. Certainly the Clinton campaign didn’t.
Down the road, when an Establishment Republican is nominated as the party’s offering for president—Paul Ryan, say—we progressive Democrats will be able to take comfort in knowing that his cabinet heads won’t discriminate against progressive Democrats in staffing their departments. Maybe I’ll apply.
Okay, look. I bow to few other progressive Democrats in the intensity of anger at Bill and Hillary Clinton for, beginning in 2013, commandeering the mechanism by which the party chooses its presidential nominee and foisting upon us a standard bearer whose husband received exorbitant secret payments from companies with interests potentially touching upon normal State Department concerns when she was Secretary of State.
And I’ve wondered from time to time in the last few months how many of those Establishment folks who were Ready for Hillary back in 2013, 2015 and the first five months of 2015 feel regret. Or maybe even remorse. Partly because our party now has a presidential nominee who along with her husband was unwilling to choose between great riches and power of another presidency, rejecting mere ordinary riches and opting instead for far more than that, risking so much for so many of the rest of us when they decided to muscle other potential candidates, and actual candidate Bernie Sanders, out of their way because they not only wanted extraordinary wealth but also the White House or a second time. And partly because we have a presidential nominee whose idea of a terrific campaign strategy in 2016 is to court endorsements from Henry Kissinger and Meg Whitman, on the apparent theory that the more uber-Establishment celebrities who endorse you the better this particular election cycle. At least if they’re Republican.
And partly because we have a nominee who thinks that the way to effectively attack her opponent is to constantly remind people of what they already know about him and haven’t forgotten, and be sure not to tell them about the stuff they don’t already know about him but really should learn of. Like that he’s soliciting policy promises—er, policy advice—from the Mercers and his other billionaire donors. And that the Mercers live in … the Hamptons.
And who thinks it’s a good idea to spend most of her time at the height of the campaign season cocooning with her extremely wealthy friends, and with the extremely wealthy friends of those friends, none of whom will sit out this election or vote for her opponent or a third party candidate. And who wouldn’t be caught dead actually campaigning on her policy proposals to rallies or audiences whose votes she thinks she has but may actually not have. They’re not mainstream Republicans, so why bother to address them, right?
I can’t stand Hillary Clinton. But I’m absolutely sure that her domestic-policy proposals, if actually enacted, would make a significant difference to a lot of people—in a good way—and that this country would be a meaningfully better place. And I won’t even mention Supreme Court and lower federal court nominees—although I will ask whom the Mercers would recommend for appoint to the Court and to the courts. Anyone who favors overturning Citizens United? Or who thinks people who don’t have driver’s licenses or passports should be allowed to vote? Or who favors plaintiffs’ access to federal court in consumer cases, employment cases, habeas corpus cases, or constitutional-rights cases that don’t concern religious freedom (loosely defined), gun ownership rights, or reverse discrimination by state universities or some such? Didn’t think so.
I do acknowledge that her cabinet members probably would discriminate against job applicants who may be hostile ideologically or politically to Clinton or to the cabinet member. But if so, there’s always the option of impeachment. Just as there was for Nixon.
Clinton is saddled with a political media that can’t distinguish between normal, expected and trivial special, often meaningless, access, and even appropriate favoritism, on the one hand, and meaningful pay-to-play. Or maybe a political media that thinks that the propriety of what has gone on in the respective professional lives of Clinton and Trump, and what promises to go on in a Clinton, or instead in a Trump, administration depends not on what is likely to go on but rather on whether it will be going on in a Clinton or instead a Trump administration. The Clinton Foundation is just a distraction, in my opinion. Bill Clinton’s half-million-dollar payments here for this no-actual-work activity, a whole million and then some for that no-actual-work activity–those are problems. But they’re problems that fade into the landscape, or should, in comparison to Trump’s appalling, breathtaking decades-long career of breathtaking immoral greed.
These two men are stunningly, pervertedly greedy. But Bill Clinton’s greed probably didn’t directly hurt anyone. by contrast, Trump’s very business model was, to a dismaying extent, to hurt people, some deliberately, some as casual collateral damage. Neither Bill nor Hillary Clinton is a sociopath. Donald Trump is. Yet it is the Clintons’ pattern of greed that the news media details and obsesses about, upon the pretext that these constitute conflicts of interest. A few do, most don’t, and none reaches anywhere near the level of casual, deliberate harm to others and clear violations of law that Trump’s very modus operandi has caused and has constituted.
We, for our part—those of us who support this Democratic nominee, extremely grudgingly or otherwise—are saddled with a candidate who is running a god-awful campaign, apparently thanks mainly to campaign decisions by the candidate herself and her husband, both of whom mistake the 2016 campaign cycle for the 1988 one.
Those old enough to remember the 1988 campaign will get my drift. It’s a double entendre.