Hillary Clinton and the Pied Piper Strategy

While the 2016 presidential election is finally over, the emails from John Podesta’s computer keep on giving.  An attachment on this email from April 23, 2015 regarding a campaign strategy call provides a fascinating look at how the Clinton camp planned to win the 2016 election.  Here’s the email, keeping in mind that it was sent two weeks after Hillary Clinton declared her candidacy:

Here’s the attached memorandum with some highlighted sections:


The key sentence is:

Our hope is that the goal of a potential HRC campaign and the DNC would be one-in-the-same: to make whoever the Republicans nominate unpalatable to a majority of the electorate.” (my bold)

How was Hillary Clinton’s campaign going to accomplish this?  You will notice the use of the word “Pied Piper”.  The Clinton camp proposed to use the Republican Party’s farthest right candidates to intentionally push the more established, less rabidly conservative candidates like Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio further to the right, with the hopes of damaging the Republican brand.  Here’s the key sentence:

The variety of candidates is a positive here, and many of the lesser known can serve as a cudgel to move the more established candidates further to the right.  In this scenario, we don’t want to marginalize the more extreme candidates, but make them more “Pied Piper” candidates who actually represent the mainstream of the Republican Party”. (my bold)

Keeping in mind that Hillary Clinton wanted to use lesser known, more right wing Republican candidates to push the party’s platform further to the right, who did she pick?

1.) Ted Cruz

2.) Donald Trump (who didn’t declare his candidacy until June 16, 2015)

3.) Ben Carson

The final piece of the puzzle is found in this sentence which I have corrected:

We need to be elevating the Pied Piper candidates so they are leaders of the pack and tell the press to (take) them seriously.” (my bold)

The Clinton campaign plan was to manipulate the electorate and the press into believing that the extreme right of the GOP had the potential to take America in what the Clinton followers saw as a less-than-desirable direction.  When that was accomplished, Hillary Clinton, whose viewpoints on some key issues like the military and international intervention are actually similar to those held by the Bush-era neoconservatives, would slot herself right into the political middle where her team thought most Americans “resided”.

Apparently, the strategy worked to a point.  As we saw during the later stages of the election, the mainstream press fell right into line, focusing their attention on the extremist views of Mr. Trump just as the Clinton campaign had hoped.  However, as we know now, the strategy failed to deliver a victory for Hillary Clinton largely because her team spent too much time strategizing and misdirecting voters and not enough time actually caring about middle America and getting a sense of the level of anger that was seething just below the surface.

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