An email exchange exposed by Wikileaks shows that the Clinton campaign wanted the Illinois primary moved, but was rebuffed because of state Democratic leaders’ disappointment with President Obama.
Wikileaks is releasing emails of Clinton insider John Podesta it obtained after his email account was hacked. Podesta has acknowledged he was hacked, but says the emails may be modified for political gain, something Wikileaks claims it has never done in its ten years of existence.
The specific email exchange, which you can see here and was republished in the political website ‘Politico’ comes between Podesta, Clinton campaign manager Robbie Mook, and William Daley, former Chief of Staff for President Obama who had sought the Democratic nomination for Illinois Governor in the 2014 election, but then dropped out.
The email, which written in 2014, long before Republican nominee Donald Trump announced his candidacy, discusses seeking to have the Illinois primary pushed back to hurt the chances of any moderate Republicans seeking the nomination, possibly a reference to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.
In the email exchange, Mook writes, “The overall goal is to move the IL primary out of mid March, where they are currently a lifeline to a moderate Republican candidate after the mostly southern Super Tuesday. IL was a key early win for Romney in 12. Our preference would be for them to move all the way to May … They will receive a bonus of 10% extra delegates if they move to April and 20% if they move to May.
“As we discussed, they (state Democratic legislative leaders) don’t really care about being helpful and feel forgotten and neglected by POTUS. The key point is that this is not an Obama ask, but a Hillary ask. And the Clintons won’t forget what their friends have done for them.”
Daley was the one who would reach out to Democratic leaders with the request.
The exchange is remarkable in that it shows the Clinton campaign was so assured of winning the Democratic Presidential nomination, they were making attempts to manipulate the Republican primary process which would determine her opponent.
It also reveals the depth of the connections between the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee to the point where the campaign felt it could promise extra Democratic delegates for Illinois if lawmakers did as they asked. A Wikileaks release of DNC emails before the Democratic National Convention showed active attempts by the party to hurt support for Clinton’s primary opponent, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The release led to the resignation of Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-FL), a Clinton supporter, as Chairperson of the DNC.
As ‘Politico’ noted, the request was not without precedence. Illinois had moved up its primary in 2008 to help then Sen. Barack Obama defeat Clinton in the primary.