WASHINGTON – There are lots of big stories in the hacked emails of John Podesta.
And there are small stories, too.
Here’s one of the latter.
Did you ever wonder why then-Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Deborah Wasserman-Schultz gave Sen. Ted Cruz a pass on the eligibility issue back in January at the very moment Donald Trump was saying Democrats would challenge Cruz on the issue if he was nominated?
Now we know.
And we even know whose big idea it was.
It turns out the tip to do so came from the woman who would replace Wasserman-Schultz as chairwoman of the DNC – Donna Brazile.
You might recall Trump was telling audiences that the Democrats would be sure to challenge Cruz’s eligibility if he got the nomination. Ironically, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus refused to affirm Cruz’s eligibility for fear of taking sides in the contest between Cruz and Trump.
Thanks to Podesta’s hacked emails, we now know Brazile came up with the idea of trumping Trump by having Wasserman-Schultz announce the Dems would challenge Cruz on the issues, not his eligibility – and certainly not with a legal challenge.
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Date: 2016-01-30 19:57
Subject: A thought
Donald Trump says that, if the Republicans nominate Cruz, “the Democrats” will file a lawsuit challenging Cruz’ eligibility.
DSW — or, more ambitiously, DSW, Clinton, Sanders and O’Malley — should issue a statement saying that, If Cruz is nominated, the Democratic Party will not challenge his eligibility and that the voters should reject him because of his views and record, not his birthplace.
Sent from Donna’s I Pad. Follow me on twitter @donnabrazile
As you can see, Brazile thought the stunt would be even better if Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley all joined in. That never happened.
Wasserman-Schultz and the Democratic leadership got kudos from some Republicans for taking a stand that Priebus feared to take.
But, was that the real story – or the whole story?
No, it wasn’t. Had the Democrats challenged Cruz on eligibility, it would have been tantamount to challenging Obama. Both had one American citizen parent – in both cases, their mothers. But, given the age of Obama’s teen-age mother at the time, there were legal questions raised, whereas Cruz’s mother had long been established as an American citizen. It would have been a tough case to make against Cruz given the ridicule the Dems piled on all those who challenged Obama’s constitutional eligibility.
Prepping Hillary to meet Warren
So how did it go when Hillary Clinton’s top speech writer, Dan Schwerin, met with Dan Geldon, long-time adviser to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, in January 2015 in preparation for a reconciliation between the pair of Democratic female powerhouses?
“Over all, it was a polite and engaged but not exactly warm conversation,” Schwerin reported to Cheryl Mills, Human Abedin, Jake Sullivan, John Podesta, Robby Mook and Mrs. Clinton in an email from Jan. 6, 2015.
It seems Warren’s team was very concerned Clinton would return to economic advisers in the Robert Rubin school.
They were also “very critical of the Obama administration’s choices,” Schwerin reported back. It seems Warren offered suggestions about who should lead Clinton’s economic team – ideas the Clintonistas were busy poring over in search of a compromise.
Warren’s aide made it clear that the senator was none too pleased with the Obama economy and let Clinton’s aide know she would be pushing back against the president’s claims that the economy was just sailing along, when “so much else is wrong.”
“They seem wary — and pretty convinced that the Rubin folks have the inside track with us whether we realize it yet or not — but open to engagement and to be proven wrong,” wrote Schwerin. “He mentioned that everyone will be watching carefully any leaks about who HRC is meeting and talking to.”
To: email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jake.Sullivan@gmail.com, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com more
Date: 2015-01-06 19:37
Subject: Warren staff meeting
As follow up to HRC’s meeting with Warren, I spent about an hour and twenty minutes this afternoon with Dan Geldon, a longtime advisor to the Senator. He was intently focused on personnel issues, laid out a detailed case against the Bob Rubin school of Democratic policy makers, was very critical of the Obama administration’s choices, and explained at length the opposition to Antonio Weiss. We then carefully went through a list of people they do like, which EW sent over to HRC earlier. We have already been in touch with a number of them and I asked if he would be comfortable introducing me to the others, to which he seemed reasonably amenable. We spent less time on specific policies, because he seemed less interested in that. (Although he did express some flexibility on Glass-Steagall, said too big too fail is the bigger issue, and was open to our ideas on addressing through the tax code assuming it actually works.) He spoke repeatedly about the need to have in place people with ambition and urgency who recognize how much the middle class is hurting and are willing to challenge the financial industry. Starting with her speech at the AFL this week, EW will be pushing back against the President’s message that the economy is getting better and urging us not to get distracted by metrics like GDP and unemployment when so much else remains wrong.
Over all, it was a polite and engaged but not exactly warm conversation. They seem wary – and pretty convinced that the Rubin folks have the inside track with us whether we realize it yet or not – but open to engagement and to be proven wrong. He mentioned that everyone will be watching carefully any leaks about who HRC is meeting and talking to.
We agreed to stay in touch and I’ll follow up, including to ask for introductions to specific people he mentioned.
Blumenthal’s advice to Podesta on selling a strong economy
The always controversial Sidney Blumenthal wasn’t just advising Hillary Clinton. As late as October 2014, he was also advising Obama’s counselor, John Podesta, who has since gone on to run Clinton’s campaign.
In an Oct. 1, 2014, email to Podesta, Blumenthal coached him on selling the Obama economy.
“On going positive, there will always be contrary evidence of drag somewhere in the economy,” he wrote. “The larger point is to use specific statistics to point to the upward trend lines.”
He made one point the Obama team surely bought: On the weak links, always blame George W. Bush.
“Trend lines should always begin with the base line of the depth of the economic crisis in late 2008-early 2009. Always compare and contrast when possible,” suggested Blumenthal.
More, Re: Going positive. Sid
Date: 2014-10-01 01:53
Subject: More, Re: Going positive. Sid
On going positive, there will always be contrary evidence of drag somewhere in the economy. The larger point is to use specific statistics to point to the upward trend lines.
Positive developments are not, of course, restricted to economic indicators. Any domestic sector can be highlighted from energy to education, from protecting the environment to the number of children and working families now covered under health care, etc.
Trend lines should always begin with the base line of the depth of the economic crisis in late 2008-early 2009. Always compare and contrast when possible.
Blumenthal, like Clinton, seemed gleeful about what fracking had done for U.S. oil supplies – even though Democrats universally fought the oil extraction process.
Here’s a big story from page one of the Financial Times today, completely ignored by the US press, but nonetheless could still be stressed by the White House, and developed even further to discuss number of jobs that will be created, how the environment is being protected, etc.
Shale boom to put US on top of petroleum output league Saudi Arabia set to be overtaken as flow of oil and related liquids quickens ED CROOKS – NEW YORK ANJLI RAVAL – LONDON The US is overtaking Saudi Arabia to become the world’s largest producer of liquid petroleum, in a sign of how its booming oil production has reshaped the world of energy.
US production of oil and related liquids such as ethane and propane was neck-and-neck with Saudi Arabia in June and again in August at about 11.5m barrels per day, according to the International Energy Agency, the watchdog backed by rich countries. With US production continuing to boom, its output is set to exceed Saudi Arabia’s this month or next for the first time since 1991.
Riyadh has stressed that the US’s growing role should not overshadow its own critical role in oil markets. It says it has the ability to increase its output by 2.5m barrels a day if needed to balance supply and demand.
Prince Abdulaziz Bin Salman Bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s deputy oil minister, said earlier this month that the kingdom was the “only country with usable spare oil production capacity”.
However, even Saudi officials do not deny that the rise of the US to become the world’s largest petroleum producer – with an even greater lead if its biofuel output of about 1m b/d is included – has played a vital role in stabilising markets.
Global crude prices have fallen in the past two years, in spite of the turmoil in Syria and Iraq, fighting in Libya and Russia’s conflict with Ukraine. Brent crude hit its lowest level in more than two years last week at about $95.60 per barrel, down from a peak of more than $125 per barrel early in 2012. Over that period, the growth in US production of more than 3.5m b/d has almost equalled the entire increase in world oil supplies.
The US industry has been transformed by the shale revolution, with advances in the techniques of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling enabling the exploitation of oilfields, particularly in Texas and North Dakota, that were long considered uncommercial.
Crude prices that are high by the standards of a decade or more ago have made it profitable to use those techniques to extract oil. US production of crude hit 8.87m barrels per day earlier this month, up from 5m b/d in 2008, and is on course to break through 9m b/d before the end of the year.
US crude oil production in August was still lower than either Saudi Arabia’s, at about 9.7m b/d, or Russia’s at 10.1m b/d. The overall US leadership in petroleum is accounted for by its higher production of natural gas liquids such as ethane and propane, which have a lower energy content and are often used as feedstocks for the petrochemical industry rather than for fuel.
Still, on current trends the US could catch up with Saudi Arabia and Russia on crude production alone by the end of the decade.
Lex page 14
Athlon Energy deal page 18
Rising shale output page 24
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