To Donna Brazile: An Open Letter From An Admirer

To My Dear Ms. Donna Brazile:

I have always had a genuine affection for you so out of respect I’ll keep my language clean and cut to the chase.  You just released a book that has had the impact of trashing the Clinton’s 2016 campaign operation and calling Hillary into question for her candor with the public.  You validated the claims of the most hysterical Bernie Sanders supporters and ripped open wounds that have been struggling for more than a year to heal at terrible time.


These facts are undeniable regardless of the intentions behind your actions.  And based on your history of service to the Democratic Party you had every right to do exactly what you did the way that you did it regardless of the fallout.  The disagreement of others (including me) is beside the point.

But now you  have to own it- just like those big fat royalties that are going to post to your bank account for writing a best-selling political page turner.  When you allowed the word “rigged” to show up in your book and attached that word to the Democratic Primary process you HAD to know what was going to happen.  You’d create a storm of controversy that would help sell a lot more books and simultaneously anger a lot of people that you have known as friends and colleagues for years.  Whether it was true or not (and there certainly is validity to your charges the way you lay them out) you gave aid and comfort to the GOP voters who may be ashamed of Donald Trump but saw him as a suitable alternative to the irredeemably “Crooked Hillary.”  Words matter, Donna, and “rigged” was the single most loaded word you could have used.  A woman of your professional experience and  political expertise knows that damned well.


So I can’t let you slide with your combative denials in television interviews where you say the primary wasn’t “rigged” but that it had a “cancer” because of the financing deal between the DNC and the Clinton Campaign.  Donna, stop it.  You saw and heard Donald Trump’s crazy ass running around saying “RIGGED” in every sentence he spoke when he fully expected to get his ass kicked on election day just like the rest of us.  But since he won, you have given him the gift of being able to claim he was right AND he actually won.  He comes out looking like he actually knew what he was talking about when he was just looking for an excuse for the humiliating ass-kicking that was coming.

But I believe that there was a reason for all of this and some purpose for the Democrats to hold on to in the aftermath.  I’ve been following you closely since I was just out of law school almost 20 years ago and I think I know why you did this- besides the big payday that you’ve got coming that you have most certainly earned.  I think you are still pissed off at the Clinton’s for messing up your big shot at winning  the 2000 election for Al Gore.  It was a big deal when you were tapped to run the Gore Lieberman presidential campaign.  A black woman holding that job was significant especially since you had all of the fundamentals pointing in your favor for a victory.  You have always been a significant player but you and me both know that if Gore had won you would have been an absolute STAR in politics.  Legendary status was within your grasp and it got away- and we all know that it was because of the peculiarity of the Clinton marriage and Bill’s scandalous activities in the Oval Office with a twenty year old intern.


That had to be a bitter pill to swallow but you have always been a professional so you soldiered ahead- handling yourself with class, dignity and command on camera for all of these years.  But when Hillary’s campaign blew what appeared to be another lay-up victory- with you standing in as DNC chair-woman no less- I think you decided to just fire off your guns and let the chips fall.  And I can dig it.  I may not like it but I respect it.  I am asking you now to allow me to hold on to that respect and NOT continue with the jive excuses, debates and filibuster interviews on every network trying to tell people that you DIDN’T say what we all can clearly see you wrote.  Just own it, Donna.  Please.  You said your piece and got paid in full for doing it.  It ain’t like you lied.  You just gave your take on the facts at hand from an inside perspective that nobody can dispute.

The take-away from all of this did not come from a talking head on any news network. It actually came from the unlikeliest of places this week.  While all of this controversy was percolating around you and Hillary, the women of Virginia and New Jersey went back to work to finish what you started.  They turned out and voted in huge numbers in an off year election and more women ran for local office and won than ever before.  They are doing the work and moving forward- and they won.


They ran a bunch of right-wing conservative jackals out of office and back into the caves where they came from- establishing a trend I hope lasts for the next hundred years at least.  So the future looks bright despite the hell you have experienced with coming so close twice and coming up short- and the hell you unleashed on your teammates.  My hope is that you will just maintain your dignity and stand by what you wrote.  Put it behind you so you can put all of your talent and experience behind the new wave of Democratic leaders and candidates coming along.  Despite your public rebuke, your party still needs you.

I’m Still Down With You, Donna.


DVH, Esquire  

∞ π

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