Donna Brazile must have felt awfully jilted when the Democratic National Committee sent her packing last year, because she lobbed some major truth bombs this week in the pages of Politico. Brazile, who was the acting Chairwoman of the DNC throughout the election after Debbie Wasserman Schultz was shown the door, now says that all of those allegations about the DNC rigging the primaries for Hillary Clinton? Yeah, they were 100% true. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that the DNC WAS the Hillary Clinton campaign…long before Madam Secretary sewed up the Democratic nomination in June.
Shortly after taking over for Wasserman Schultz, Brazile says she had a conversation with Gary Gensler, the CFO of Hillary’s campaign. He told her that the Democratic Party was $2 million in debt and had taken a loan out from the campaign. Brazile, who had heard nothing about this when Debbie was in charge, was shocked by the revelation that the DNC was flat broke and relying on Hillary’s campaign for the funds to keep operations afloat.
“Obama left the party $24 million in debt—$15 million in bank debt and more than $8 million owed to vendors after the 2012 campaign and had been paying that off very slowly,” she writes. “Obama’s campaign was not scheduled to pay it off until 2016. Hillary for America (the campaign) and the Hillary Victory Fund (its joint fundraising vehicle with the DNC) had taken care of 80 percent of the remaining debt in 2016, about $10 million, and had placed the party on an allowance.
“On the phone Gary told me the DNC had needed a $2 million loan, which the campaign had arranged,” she continued. “He described the party as fully under the control of Hillary’s campaign, which seemed to confirm the suspicions of the Bernie [Sanders] camp. The campaign had the DNC on life support, giving it money every month to meet its basic expenses, while the campaign was using the party as a fund-raising clearing house.”
This would have been a hell of a revelation (and a hell of a wakeup call for DNC management) if it turned out that the DNC had made this arrangement with the Hillary camp after she won the nomination, but it wouldn’t have been scandalous. As Brazile points out, it is pretty much par for the course for the nominee (or the president, as the case may be) to “take control” of the party apparatus. But as she details in the article, she found evidence that the Clinton fundraising mechanisms had signed on to essentially keep the DNC afloat the PREVIOUS AUGUST, meaning that all of Sanders’ suspicions were true. The DNC really did rig the primaries against him. They had no choice. The DNC, without Hillary Clinton, would have disintegrated into bankruptcy.
Brazile’s stunning revelations come at a time when the Democratic Party is trying desperately to decide which wing of the left – the centrists or the Bernie Bros, the tax-and-spends or the outright socialists – will assume control of the leadership. Right now, their only unity comes in their opposition to Donald Trump. The fractures are still there, though. They are there and they are widening. And now that Bernie’s supporters know beyond all doubt that the primaries really were rigged against them, it may be a split too wide to repair.