So it’s no surprise that she is creating headaches for the Kerry crew. Last week, after speaking before a think tank founded by her husband’s out-of-work staffers, including former chief of staff, John Podesta, Clinton told reporters that unlike Kerry she and her husband had never considered removing the chairman of the Democratic National Committee after Bill clinched the party’s nomination.
Her comments were viewed as a slap at Kerry, reminding him of who is really running the party, and an endorsement of current DNC chair and puppet to the Clintons, Terry McAuliffe, who independent of any push by Kerry had announced he would most likely step down in 2005 after the election.
“McAuliffe has been gracious toward Kerry and refused to buy into the [pro-]Dean hysteria when he could have,” says a DNC convention staffer. “He deserved better than having the Kerry people trying to push him out the door with a whispering campaign.”
Generally, the party’s presidential nominee does have one of his closer allies in place at party headquarters after the nominating convention. Usually that person takes the title of treasurer or somesuch designation that conveys control of the purse strings.
Rumors inside the Kerry camp are that the candidate would like to place inside the DNC one of the leaders of the AFL-CIO unions that are backing him.
“It would be a controversial move, but given the amount of coordination that is going on between labor and the campaign, it would be smart tactically,” says a DNC fundraiser. “It’s the kind of thing Gerald McEntee would be perfect for.” McEntee is head of the state, county and municipal government employees union and has backed Kerry.
AS FOR CLINTON, HER APPEARANCE on Wednesday at the Mayflower Hotel was hastily pulled together so that she could make her endorsement of Kerry official. She had declined numerous other opportunities to endorse her Senate colleague, instead taking the safe path by waiting for him to clinch the nomination. According to a Kerry source, the two had a brief conversation prior to the speech. “That’s the first time the two have spoken in a while,” says the Kerry source.
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It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
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