When you betray Hillary Clinton, she remembers. Sunday night, the Hill and Politico released an excerpt from a new book, HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton¸ revealing that Hillary Clinton and her aides have kept a detailed Excel spreadsheet, sometimes including numerical ratings, recording who stood with Hillary and who stood against her during the 2008 Democratic presidential primary.
“There was a special circle of Clinton hell reserved for people who had endorsed Obama or stayed on the fence after Bill and Hillary had raised money for them, appointed them to a political post, or written a recommendation to ice their kid’s application to an elite school,” the Hill’s Amie Parnes and Politico’s Jonathan Allen wrote.
Though most politicians keep track of their friends and enemies, Parnes and Allen report that the Clintons took it to a new level: One version of the list even assigned each Democratic member of Congress a grade of 1 to 7: one being the most helpful to Hillary, seven being the most harmful. Sevens on the list included Democratic senators John Kerry (Mass.), Jay Rockefeller (W.Va.), and Bob Casey (Pa.).
Senator McCaskill (D., Mo.) drew the most ire from the Clinton camp. The conflict had its roots back in 2006, when McCaskill, asked about Bill Clinton, said, “He’s been a great leader but I don’t want my daughter near him.” Two years later, she endorsed Obama in the Democratic primary, and worked to win him the support of other key Democrats.
“Hate is too weak a word to describe the feelings that Hillary’s core loyalists still have for McCaskill, who seemed to deliver a fresh endorsement of Obama — and a caustic jab at Hillary — every day during the primary,” Parnes and Allen write. The animosity between McCaskill and Clinton finally reached the point where the senator once told a friend, “I really don’t want to be in an elevator alone with her.”
An anonymous aide to the Clintons downplayed the significance of the hit list, saying in the book, “The notion that [the hit list] is updated, circulated, disseminated, and relied upon is absurd.”