WASHINGTON – It’s not exactly news that Hillary Clinton‘s presidential bid was hobbled by a dysfunctional staff that seemed to spend more time battling each other than rivals like Barack Obama. Still, the Atlantic Monthly’s inside look at the Democrat’s campaign paints a detailed — and highly entertaining — picture.
Atlantic reporter Joshua Green got his hands on two dozen internal e-mails that portray the strategic vacillating and backbiting that reduced the New York senator from frontrunner to also-ran.
Here are some of the juiciest:
“This makes me sick. This circular firing squad that is occuring is unattractive, unprofessional, unconscionable, and unaccptable … It must stop,” adviser Robert Barnett wrote to other senior staffers on March 6, after a Washington Post story about the campaign’s internal battles.
How about this for an opener? “I don’t mean to be an asshole, but …” pollster Geoff Garin wrote on April 12 in a message urging staffers to respect the authority of communications director Howard Wolfson.
Wolfson get off some bon mots as well. Defending his irascible deputy Phil Singer, Wolfson said to a colleague that “when the house is on fire, it’s better to have a psychotic fireman than no fireman at all,” according to the Atlantic.