Hillary Blames Campaign Problems on MoveOn.org, Infuriates Netroots
In today's episode of "As The Left Eat Their Own," a tape of Hillary Clinton complaining after Super Tuesday that activists from MoveOn.org "flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support [her]" was published at The Huffington Post Friday.
This has set off a predictably hostile reaction from the liberal blogosphere, and was considered such a bombshell that Barack Obama-loving MSNBC actually began Friday's installment of "Verdict" with this revelation.
But, before we get there, here's the text of Hillary's remarks (audio embedded upper-right):
Moveon.org endorsed [Sen. Barack Obama] -- which is like a gusher of money that never seems to slow down. We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn.org didn't even want us to go into Afghanistan. I mean, that's what we're dealing with. And you know they turn out in great numbers. And they are very driven by their view of our positions, and it's primarily national security and foreign policy that drives them. I don't agree with them. They know I don't agree with them. So they flood into these caucuses and dominate them and really intimidate people who actually show up to support me.
As you might imagine, this didn't go over very well in the liberal blogosphere. Here's what Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos had to say:
Well, for a campaign that has morphed into nothing but "Republican talking points", it shouldn't come as any surprise.
I'm curious though, what part of our foreign policy approach doesn't she agree with? The ending the war in Iraq part? I'd like more details on that one.
Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake was more emphatic:
I defended Hillary Clinton when she refused to bow to right wing pressure and condemn MoveOn over the "General Betrayus" ad (and was sad when she finally capitulated). MoveOn are valuable progressive partners who have been with us on Donna Edwards, net neutrality, trying to bring an end to the war, FISA, and other issues we've been fighting for.
They've accepted the challenge of organizing the left in the virtual arena and done an amazing job that the right struggles to replicate. They now have 3 million members, of which I'm one. And their skill at online organization and movement building has developed a model that both of the Democratic candidates have been able to copy and learn from, acting as a democratizing influence and making candidates more responsive to the public at large and less to high dollar donors.
MoveOn may not have opposed military action in Afghanistan (according to Eli Pariser in the Washington Post) but I did, because I was quite certain George Bush would bungle it and we'd just wind up spending billions on a bunch of junk that would make his buddies rich and a lot of poor people in the poorest country in the world would die senselessly. Sadly that turned out to be right, and disparaging anyone for challenging this country's unrelenting bellicosity during the Bush administration is wrong.
Does Hillary Clinton not want my vote either?
Certainly, such sentiments were not surprising. Yet, the fact that MSNBC's Dan Abrams actually began his program Friday evening with this news was:
DAN ABRAMS, HOST: Tonight: There is breaking news: Hillary Clinton caught on tape at a private fundraiser bashing certain Democratic activists. Will this be her "bitter" moment? [...]
VERDICT starts now.
Is this going to be big news moving forward?
Welcome to the show.
We begin tonight with breaking news, a week after hammering Barack Obama over what he said in a closed door fund-raiser about bitterness, guns and religion, Hillary Clinton facing questions tonight for what she said in a small, closed door fund-raiser after Super Tuesday.