By NICK PAULUS The first time I got into politics was in 1993.
At the time, the Democratic Party was struggling to make gains against the Republicans.
A Democratic congressman, Bill Bradley, had just been elected to Congress and was pushing a new progressive agenda for the party.
“I thought, Oh my God, I’m going to get involved in this!”
“But as soon as the president came in and signed legislation that I opposed, it just collapsed.
I thought, Well, I don’t really need to participate.”
He had his own problems with the Clintons.
Bradley had served on the House Judiciary Committee, where he had the power to subpoena records from the Clintons’ private email server.
The committee ultimately ruled that the president had a constitutional right to use the private server for official business, but he resigned.
That same year, the Clintons launched their presidential bid.
The Clintons were in the early stages of building their 2016 campaign and Bradley felt they were on the right track.
“It seemed like there was a real chance that we were going to be a good candidate,” Bradley said, describing the 2008 campaign.
“When Bill Clinton came in, it seemed like, Well the way to do that was to bring the Clintons into the White House.
And they were a lot more interested in working with me and a lot less interested in the Democratic party.”
Bradley was among a small group of progressives who supported then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2008 and again in 2016.
But by the time Clinton’s re-election bid was officially announced in January 2021, Bradley felt the DNC had made a big mistake.
“There were many people in the DNC that were excited about it,” Bradley recalled.
“They didn’t really know the extent to which they were going down a path that was destructive to the party.”
A former DNC member and political operative who worked on the Clinton White House team told me the same thing.
“The idea that Hillary Clinton would be a leader of a major party was never really in the cards,” said the former official.
“We were not a part of the Clinton presidential campaign.
It was a much more moderate group of folks that had been there before.
The former official said the DNC has a long history of having to back candidates and it would be “disastrous” for the organization to continue to have to do so. “
That means the DNC is not going to have the same resources that they had with the Obama campaign,” the former DNC staffer said.
The former official said the DNC has a long history of having to back candidates and it would be “disastrous” for the organization to continue to have to do so.
“This was never the right choice,” he said.
Bradley said that the DNC’s lack of enthusiasm for Sanders and his progressive agenda made him question the party’s future.
“Bernie Sanders was a very popular candidate in this country,” Bradley explained.
“And it was a really good campaign for a lot of people, especially young people.
And when the president of the United States came into office, it was really clear that he was not going do anything that was going to help young people or anyone else.
He was just going to put more money into the pockets of a handful of people and they were never going to do anything to help the country or the world.”
He continued, “It’s like a giant hedge fund.
And then suddenly it suddenly comes out and says, You know what, we have to get our hands dirty.”
It really came as a surprise to me.” “
For the most part, I think the DNC didn’t see this coming.
It really came as a surprise to me.”
He said that he and other members of the party would have liked to see Sanders and other progressive candidates become part of their national infrastructure.
But Bradley said it was “not in their best interest.”
“They need to figure out how to do this, not be a part, because it’s not in their own best interest to be part of this.”
The former DNC official added that there was also a political problem with the DNC leadership that was not being addressed by the party and it made it harder for the DNC to engage with the grassroots.
Bradley was one of many who were disappointed by the lack of outreach from the DNC during the Trump presidency.
He told me that he had “never been in a position where the leadership of the DNC really wanted to talk to me, to engage me in the campaign.”
Bradley said the party needed to “get to know its own base” and build a stronger grassroots presence.
“If we don’t get to know our base, then the DNC will never really be able, or I don