Clinton Staffers Attempted to Change State Primary Dates to Aid Their Candidate

LONG BEFORE CAMPAIGNS OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED

by Sharon Rondeau

(Nov. 3, 2016) — In an email dated April 26, 2014 released by WikiLeaks on Thursday as part of its 27th batch, Democrat operative Robby Mook, who later became Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, wrote that he met with someone named “Berman” to discuss Berman’s strategy to convince various state elections officials to adjust the dates of their Democrat primaries to favor Hillary Clinton, who was not then a declared presidential candidate.

The targeted states were traditionally “blue,” or Democrat-majority states, located in the Northeast, and California.

The recipients of Mook’s communication, “cheryl.mills@gmail.com, daplouffe@icloud.com, john.podesta@gmail.com,” are former State Department Counselor and Chief of Staff Cheryl Mills, who also worked for the Clinton Foundation and is now a major force in Clinton’s campaign; David Plouffe, chief strategist for the Obama 2008 campaign; and John Podesta, Georgetown University Law School professor, co-founder and board member of the Center for American Progress (CAP) and current Clinton campaign chairman.

The email reads, in part:

Had a great meeting with Berman today. We discussed him taking the lead on the strategy outlined in his memo: (1) Seeing if we can get MA and VT to push their primaries back, (2) Keep the big blue states (NY, NJ, CA, etc) from moving their primaries earlier and (3) Trying to get LA and WV to join Super Tuesday. As we discussed in NY, keeping the red states early makes sense if she has a primary (as long as there isn’t a primary competitor winning significant AA votes), but also increases the likelihood the Rs nominate someone extreme. We agreed that if she gets a significant primary challenger, we need to consider changing course and getting NY, NJ, and maybe others to move their dates earlier to give her hefty early wins.

Mook later commented that “We may need allies to help in this process but we’re going to look at each state one step at a time, limiting as much as possible the perception of direct intervention by the principals.”

His reference to “WJC” apparently signifies “William Jefferson Clinton,” Hillary’s husband and the 42nd President of the United States.

Later that year, Clinton operatives attempted to convince Illinois election officials to push back the date of that state’s primary, strategizing that “a contest held after the Super Tuesday primaries might stop momentum for a moderate Republican candidate.”

Illinois did not agree to the requested change, although Yahoo! News reported that “The Illinois legislature moved up the 2008 primary to benefit its favorite son, then-Sen. Barack Obama, in his bid for the White House. The primary was held in early February that year to give Illinois more influence, but then moved back to its traditional date in mid-March.”

While Clinton was born in Chicago, Obama claims to have been born in Hawaii but settled in Chicago as an adult following graduation from Harvard Law School.

“Berman” likely referred to “Mike Berman,President of The Duberstein Group, “a government relations and lobbying firm in Washington, D.C.”  According to Wikipedia, Berman became “a confidante to President Bill Clinton and First Lady Hillary Clinton” in 1992.

Berman was an active participant in Obama’s 2008 campaign.  Following Obama’s election, Berman joined the faculty of American University’s Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies within the School of Public Affairs. His biography there states, in part, “Berman has worked on every Democratic presidential campaign from 1964 to 2000 and every Democratic convention from 1968 to 2004, scheduling the public session at six conventions.  He has also served as an advisor to the Democratic Senatorial and Congressional Campaign Committees and worked on a number of other election campaigns.”

The Center’s director, James Thurber, described Berman as “one of the nation’s leading political experts.”

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