One of the genuine joys of the crazed, often incredibly petty and seemingly unending election season has been seeing the enormous voter turn-out—at both ends of the age spectrum. People turned off to politics since the Vietnam era now feel energized. College students and 20-somethings who previously felt completely left out of the political world have suddenly become impassioned. Some of them have come out for Hillary, others for Barack.
But which ever candidate you support, it’s hard not to be heartened by the record turnouts that the two history-making Democratic candidates have inspired.
At least so one would think.
Then I came into possession of an audio recording in which, at a small, private fund raiser, Hillary Clinton expressed her antipathy toward the Democratic activists who showed up in gushers and torrents to vote and/or caucus all across America in great numbers—IF those voters and caucus-goers happened to favor someone other than….well…. her.
The story I wrote about what Clinton said, the context, and reactions from both MoveOn and the Clinton camp, is posted on the Huffington Post and it’s getting a fairly strong reaction.
But here’s the main Clinton quote in question. (The audio is also over at Huff Post.)
“Moveon.org endorsed [Sen. Barack Obama] — which is like a gusher of money that never seems to slow down,” Clinton said to a meeting of donors. “We have been less successful in caucuses because it brings out the activist base of the Democratic Party. MoveOn 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.”
This is one of the biggest problems a great many of us have with Hillary. Despite her considerable talents, there’s a With-Me-Or-Against-Me quality that never seems to go away.
By the way, yesterday I told both of my USC journalism classes about the story that might be in the offing and my students had terrifically smart and insightful things to say during a very lively discussion about how such stories should be best and most ethically handled. I’m proud of each one of them. If they are the future of journalism, we’re in very good shape.
Here are some of the more interesting reactions to the Hillary post:
I understand Keith Olbermann just mentioned it, but I didn’t hear it.
PS: The editors at Huff Post tell me I should encourage people to DIGG the article. So, I guess, do so if you’re over there and feel so moved.
PPS: Among the reactions that have come in so far to the Huff Post piece, I’m told that there several emails from Clinton staffers who said that, while they weren’t thrilled to see the article, that at least they felt the issue was handled fairly. Whether or not I succeeded (and despite the fact that, as is well known here, I’m an Obama supporter) I tried my damnest to do just that.