I thought it was hyperbole when New York magazine reported that the Clintons were so determined not to let Barack Obama get in the way of Hillary’s destiny that they’ll “start a [rhymes with ducking] third party before they’ll give up on putting her in the White House.” I thought Matthew Yglesias was raising a rhetorical question when he wondered “if the ex-president and other close associates might be so clouded by bitterness if Hillary Clinton loses that they’ll try to sabotage Obama’s general election campaign.”
We’ve learned, however, never to underestimate the Clintons, and the fury that fuels their sense of entitlement. Thomas Edsall reports today that “some top independent expenditure groups supporting Clinton have been exploring the creation of an anti-Obama ‘527 committee’ that would take unlimited contributions from a few of Clinton’s super-rich backers and from a handful of unions to finance television ads and direct mail designed to tarnish the Illinois Senator’s image.” The groups – Emily’s List, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) – “have explored the possibility of trying to put together a multi-million dollar effort privately dubbed the Anybody-But-Obama 527 Committee.”
The problem is that, with Hillary’s own political future behind her, no other Democrat is rushing to sacrifice his or her own career on the altar of the second Clinton presidency that never happened. Recruiting private donors and personnel for the trash-Obama fund is going nowhere because federal law “requires regular disclosure of both the donors to 527 organizations and the expenditures they make, so it is not possible for such committees to keep secret the identity of supporters and staff.” No one’s thinking at the moment that this would be a good career move. “You might make some good money in the short term, but your chances of getting any Democratic contracts in the future, especially if Obama wins, would be zilch,” one operative told Edsall. “I wouldn’t go there.”
Even though the Clinton’s can’t be honest, the rest of America doesn’t have to put up with euphemisms. It’s not the Anybody-But-Obama fund. It’s the Anybody-Who’s-Not-Hillary 527.