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- February 9, 2016

Eight Years Ago Tomorrow, Clinton Fired Her 2008 Campaign Manager, So On The Heels Of A Damaging Loss In New Hampshire, Who Will Be First Scapegoat Taken To The Chopping Block?

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TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • Tonight, Hillary Clinton suffered a resounding loss in New Hampshire to self-avowed Socialist Bernie Sanders.
  • Tonight marks the eve of the eight-year anniversary of the beginning of Clinton's 2008 campaign crack up, with the resignation of then-campaign manager Patti Solis Doyle.
  • Now, in yet another "classic Clinton scenario," her campaign is fending off reports of a campaign shakeup after blowing massive leads in the first two nominating states.
  • As eyes are on Clinton's youthful campaign manager and strategist with deep Wall Street ties, Clinton is expected to recruit her HillaryLand inner circle to take over.

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TONIGHT, CLINTON LOST THE NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY IN CONVINCING FASHION, WITH THE RACE CALLED THE MOMENT POLLS CLOSED

Just As Polls Closed, News Organizations Called The New Hampshire Primary For Bernie Sanders The Moment The Polls Closed. ABC NEWS TWEET: "BREAKING: @ABC News projects Bernie Sanders will win the Democratic #NHPrimary http://abcn.ws/1LfudR6 " (ABC News Politics, Twitter Feed, 12/9/16)

(ABC News Politics, Twitter Feed, 12/9/16)

MSNBC's Election Night Panel Noted That The Clinton Camp's 3-Page Memo Spinning Their Loss Was Embargoed For Release At 8PM Because "They Knew That They Were Going To Lose." MSNBC'S ANDREA MITCHELL: "The Democratic Party meanwhile is completely splintered. Bernie Sanders has taken on the establishment. Hillary Clinton had the Democratic Party establishment; she still has their endorsements. But he out raised her in January, he now will have a ton of money on those online contributions in February, and the Clinton team anticipated this with the three-page memo." MSNBC'S RACHEL MADDOW: "This is… is this normal? Is this a normal thing that campaigns do? This seems… this shocked me when we got this tonight." MITCHELL: "No, no. This was pretty shocking because it is a three page memo from the campaign manager defensively explaining how they can come back and win the nomination in March with a delegate-rich first fifteen days in March; 1,875 delegates in those first two weeks." MSNBC'S BRIAN WILLIAMS: "Hold it up and show the nice people at home." MITCHELL: "And this was all prepared for release. We've had this for about a half hour. It was released at 8pm because they anticipated…" MADDOW: "Embargoed until eight o'clock. They send it out ahead of time. They knew they were going to lose." MITCHELL: "They knew that they were going to lose." ( MSNBC, 2/9/16)

Click To Watch

TEAM CLINTON IS FACING A CAMPAIGN SHAKEUP, "A CLASSIC CLINTON SCENARIO"

Days Ago, Politico Reported That Clinton Is "So Dissatisfied" With Her Campaign That She Is "Considering Staffing And Strategy Changes" After New Hampshire. "Hillary and Bill Clinton are so dissatisfied with their campaign's messaging and digital operations they are considering staffing and strategy changes after what's expected to be a loss in Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, according to a half-dozen people with direct knowledge of the situation. The Clintons -- stung by her narrow victory in Iowa and shocked by polls showing her losing by as much as 20 percent here -- had been planning to reassess staffing at the campaign's Brooklyn headquarters after the first four primaries, but the Clintons have become increasingly caustic in their criticism of aides and demanded the reassessment sooner, a source told POLITICO." (Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, "Clinton Weights Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire," Politico, 2/8/16)

  • Politico Headline: "Clinton Weights Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire" (Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, "Clinton Weights Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire," Politico, 2/8/16)

Bloomberg 's John Heilemann On Rumors Of A Clinton Team Shakeup: "This Is A Classic Clinton Scenario," Staffers "Always Assumed" This Would Happen "Because This Is What Happens With The Clintons." MSNBC'S MIKA BRZEZINSKI: "John Heilemann, any clue what's going on here?" BLOOMBERG'S JOHN HEILEMANN: "Well, this is a classic Clinton scenario. First of all, everyone who went to work for this campaign always assumed that at some point this would happen. That there would be, because this is what happens with the Clintons, there's always some point where you have a crisis in the campaign and there's discussions of shakeups. It's still really bad for morale, though, to be having this conversation on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. Is it true? Hillary Clinton says I'm going to go forward with the team I have, I'm going to say it at the same time as people are saying there's going to be a shakeup. Both of those things are possible because the way the Clintons do this, is when they have a shakeup, they don't fire people. They just layer; they bring in people from the past and put new people on top of the old people. This happened eight years ago after New Hampshire. There was a very similar thing. I think it's the case that, the core truth though, is that she and her husband are exceptionally frustrated with the way this campaign has gone." (MSNBC's " Morning Joe," 2/9/16)

  • Heilemann: "This Happened Eight Years Ago After New Hampshire. There Was A Very Similar Thing." HEILEMANN: "This happened eight years ago after New Hampshire. There was a very similar thing. I think it's the case that, the core truth though, is that she and her husband are exceptionally frustrated with the way this campaign has gone." (MSNBC's " Morning Joe," 2/9/16)
  • Heilemann: This Is "Really Bad For Morale." HEILEMANN: "Well, this is a classic Clinton scenario. First of all, everyone who went to work for this campaign always assumed that at some point this would happen. That there would be, because this is what happens with the Clintons, there's always some point where you have a crisis in the campaign and there's discussions of shakeups. It's still really bad for morale, though, to be having this conversation on the eve of the New Hampshire primary." (MSNBC's "Morning Joe," 2/9/16)

Click To Watch

It Was On This Day Eight Years Ago That Clinton Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle Was Fired

Eight Years Ago, Clinton's 2008 Campaign Manager Patti Solis Doyle Was Ousted And Was Replaced By A Longtime Clinton Ally. "Patti Solis Doyle announced that she is stepping down as the campaign manager for the presidential campaign of Sen. Hilary Clinton, D-N.Y., ABC News has learned that this afternoon. In a note she sent to her staff, Solis Doyle announced that this week Maggie Williams, Clinton's chief of staff when she was first lady, 'will begin to assume the duties of campaign manager.' Solis Doyle, 42, said she would remain as a senior adviser to the campaign." (Jake Tapper, "Clinton Campaign Manager Calls It Quits," ABC News, 2/10/08)

  • The Announcement Came After Clinton's Poor Performance In Primary State Contests. "The announcement came one day after Clinton's opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., swept four primary contests -- Nebraska, Washington state, Louisiana and the U.S. Virgin Islands -- and two days before the so-called 'Potomac Primary' of Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C., where Clinton's campaign says they do not expect her to fare well." (Jake Tapper, "Clinton Campaign Manager Calls It Quits," ABC News, 2/10/08)

Eight Years Later, Solis Doyle Called The Planned Shakeup Stories Demoralizing, "Not Good," And Poor Timing. PATTI SOLIS DOYLE: "Look, it's not good, particularly the timing. First of all, it's demoralizing to the staff. For the staff who have been working, you know, 16, 18, 20-hour days even to read this is demoralizing. Two, the timing's not great. You know in 2008 when rumors came out about a shakeup, it happened in New Hampshire, but it happened just as the polls were closing. This time around, it's happening the day before. You know, that could affect turnouts for Hillary Clinton." (CNN's "At This Hour," 2/9/16)

Click To Watch

Following Clinton's Virtual Tie In Iowa, Rumors Were Rampant That Campaign Manager Robby Mook Would Be Ousted

After Iowa, "Discussions Were Underway Among Her Outside Advisers And Donors About The Need To Bring In Longtime Clinton Aides And Diminish The Role Of [Campaign Manager] Robby Mook." "Even before Mrs. Clinton finished her brief remarks to her supporters late Monday night, discussions were underway among her outside advisers and donors about the need to bring in longtime Clinton aides and diminish the role of Robby Mook, her young data-driven campaign manager. Asked about such discussions, Nick Merrill, a spokesman for the campaign, grew irritated. 'Are you serious?' he said tersely to a reporter." (Amy Chozick, "Hillary Clinton Campaign, Unnerved By Iowa, Braces For New Hampshire," The New York Times, 2/2/16)

  • Mook Faced Questions "About Whether His Job Was In Danger After Whispers That A Staff Shake-Up Was On The Way." "In the run-up to Clinton's 2016 campaign, her senior staffers made clear that this would be a totally different sort of campaign than the one in 2008, most notably because the likes of Penn would be on the outside while a group of younger aides more familiar with the challenges of modern races would be making decisions. Robby Mook, the young campaign nerd beloved by everyone who ever worked with him, was the living, breathing sign of that change. And yet, Mook himself had to endure questions from the press last week about whether his job was in danger after whispers that a staff shake-up was on the way. What's clear from the Politico report is that, for the Clintons, old habits die hard." (Chris Cillizza, "Hillary Clinton's Biggest Campaign Problem May Be, Well, Hillary Clinton," The Washington Post , 2/8/16)

Clinton's Top Pollster Joel Benenson Is "On Thin Ice"

The Recent Focus Of Clinton's Dissatisfaction Is Her Top Pollster And Strategist Joel Benenson. "The focus of their dissatisfaction in recent days is the campaign's top pollster and strategist Joel Benenson, whom one Clinton insider described as being 'on thin ice,' as the former first couple vented its frustrations about messaging following Clinton's uncomfortably close 0.25 percent win in last week's Iowa caucus. Benenson, multiple staffers and operatives say, has been equally frustrated with the Clintons' habit of tapping a rolling cast of about a dozen outside advisers - who often have the candidate's ear outside the official channels of communication." (Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, "Clinton Weights Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire," Politico, 2/8/16)

  • Clinton Insider: Benenson Is "On Thin Ice." "The focus of their dissatisfaction in recent days is the campaign's top pollster and strategist Joel Benenson, whom one Clinton insider described as being 'on thin ice,' as the former first couple vented its frustrations about messaging following Clinton's uncomfortably close 0.25 percent win in last week's Iowa caucus. Benenson, multiple staffers and operatives say, has been equally frustrated with the Clintons' habit of tapping a rolling cast of about a dozen outside advisers - who often have the candidate's ear outside the official channels of communication." (Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, "Clinton Weights Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire," Politico, 2/8/16)

As A Consultant, Benenson Had Clients Who "Worked Over The Years To Weaken A Variety Of Dodd-Frank Reforms" Including The Financial Services Forum. "The Benenson Strategy Group, the consulting firm run by Joel Benenson, now serving as the Clinton campaign's chief pollster and strategist, was retained by the Financial Services Forum, a lobbying group for Wall Street interests such as Citigroup and Goldman Sachs. Lobbying records show the Financial Services Forum has worked over the years to weaken a variety of Dodd-Frank reforms. In 2013, the Financial Services Forum paid Benenson's firm $273,459 to lobby on a number of rules that were mandated by Dodd-Frank, including capital requirements designed to prevent another financial crisis. Danny Franklin, a partner with the Benenson Stategy Group, wrote to The Intercept to say the Financial Services Forum is not currently a client of his firm, but declined to comment any further." (Lee Fang, "Top Hillary Clinton Advisors And Fundraisers Lobbied Against Obamacare," The Intercept, 2/8/16)

  • In The Last Quarter Of 2015, Clinton Spent $720,000 On Polls Last Quarter, With More Than Half Of That Amount Going To Benenson's Firm. "Hillary Clinton spent $720,000 on polls last quarter - as much as the six top Republican candidates combined. About $477,000 of that went to the firm of Joel Benenson, a pollster for Mrs. Clinton, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama." (Ari Melber, "Clinton Spending More On Polling Than Six GOP Candidates Combined," MSNBC, 2/4/16)

Clinton's Former Chief Strategist And "Ultimate Insider" Mark Penn Is Already Making His Way Into The 2016 Race

Mark Penn, Clinton's "Ultimate Insider" And 2008 Chief Strategist, "Is Still Putting Polls About His Old Boss Into The Field." "Mark Penn is no longer Hillary Clinton's chief strategist and pollster, but her former campaign guru is still putting polls about his old boss into the field - the ultimate insider is testing theories on how to make her electable during an outsider election. The controversial consigliere of Clinton's first presidential run now oversees the Stagwell Group, a private equity firm with $250 million in assets that on Thursday announced it had made its first purchase, the consulting firm SKDKnickerbocker." (Annie Karni, "Guess Who's Polling On Hillary?" Politico, 10/10/15)

  • Penn "Has Not Given Up His Passion For Polling Presidential Elections - Or Testing The Waters For Hillary." "But Penn, who also served as Bill Clinton's longtime pollster, has not given up his passion for polling presidential elections -- or testing the waters for Hillary." (Annie Karni, "Guess Who's Polling On Hillary?" Politico, 10/10/15)

DÉJÀ VU, "EERIE ECHOES," AND FAMILIAR FACES-THE CLINTON CAMPAIGN'S DISARRAY IS REMINISCENT OF HER FAILED 2008 RUN

There Are "Eerie Echoes" Of Clinton's Ill-Fated 2008 Campaign, Which Has Led To A "Growing Anxiety" Among Clinton Allies. "Clinton's allies don't believe her standing is nearly as precarious as it was during this stage of her 2008 primary fight against Barack Obama. They view Sanders as a candidate with narrower appeal, particularly once the primary calendar moves to states with more racially diverse electorates. But there are enough eerie echoes of that contest eight years ago to spark growing anxiety, as well as a determination to not underestimate Sanders. Even if Clinton believes his proposals are unrealistic, he's amassing enough campaign cash to keep the race going for months - and potentially enough support among young voters and liberal Democrats to stay competitive in the delegate count." (Julie Pace, "Analysis: Clinton Moves Aggressively To Hold Off Sanders," The Associated Press , 2/5/16)

  • "The Talk Of Shake-Up Echoes What Happened In 2008…" "The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 - when Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials - before her surprise win in New Hampshire bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands - like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin - to run the campaign while the previous staffers were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions." (Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, "Clinton Weights Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire," Politico, 2/8/16)

Clinton Is Expected To Recruit Her Inner Circle To Take Over The Reins, A Move She Also Made In 2008

Following Her Big Loss, Clinton Is Under Pressure "And The Old Voices Appear To Be Reasserting Themselves." "And yet, Mook himself had to endure questions from the press last week about whether his job was in danger after whispers that a staff shake-up was on the way. What's clear from the Politico report is that, for the Clintons, old habits die hard. Sure, a year ago it was easy to say that the new generation would run things. Clinton was ahead by 50 points, and the chances of a Sanders boomlet looked roughly equivalent to the chances of winning the Powerball lottery. But now, having narrowly escaped an Iowa caucuses loss and staring down a double-digit defeat in New Hampshire on Tuesday, the pressure is on, and the old voices appear to be reasserting themselves." (Chris Cillizza, "Hillary Clinton's Biggest Campaign Problem May Be, Well, Hillary Clinton," The Washington Post , 2/8/16)

"Several People Close To The [2016] Situation Said Clinton Would Be Loath To Fire Anyone Outright And More Inclined To Add New Staff." "It's not clear whether that will happen again, but several people close to the situation said Clinton would be loath to fire anyone outright and more inclined to add new staff." (Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, "Clinton Weights Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire," Politico, 2/8/16)

  • Heilemann: "When They Have A Shakeup, They Don't Fire People. They Just Layer; They Bring In People From The Past And Put New People On Top Of The Old People." BRZEZINSKI: "John Heilemann, any clue what's going on here?" HEILEMANN: "Well, this is a classic Clinton scenario. First of all, everyone who went to work for this campaign always assumed that at some point this would happen. That there would be, because this is what happens with the Clintons, there's always some point where you have a crisis in the campaign and there's discussions of shakeups. It's still really bad for morale, though, to be having this conversation on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. Is it true? Hillary Clinton says I'm going to go forward with the team I have, I'm going to say it at the same time as people are saying there's going to be a shakeup. Both of those things are possible because the way the Clintons do this, is when they have a shakeup, they don't fire people. They just layer; they bring in people from the past and put new people on top of the old people. This happened eight years ago after New Hampshire. There was a very similar thing. I think it's the case that, the core truth though, is that she and her husband are exceptionally frustrated with the way this campaign has gone." (MSNBC's " Morning Joe," 2/9/16)

Click To Watch

"What's Clear… Is That, For The Clintons, Old Habits Die Hard." "What's clear from the Politico report is that, for the Clintons, old habits die hard." (Chris Cillizza, "Hillary Clinton's Biggest Campaign Problem May Be, Well, Hillary Clinton," The Washington Post , 2/8/16)

In 2008, Clinton "Slowly Layered Over Top Officials, Essentially Hiring Old Hands … To Run The Campaign While The Previous Staffers Were Quietly Relegated To Subsidiary Positions." "The talk of shake-up echoes what happened in 2008 - when Clinton was on the verge of sacking her campaign manager and several top communications officials - before her surprise win in New Hampshire bailed out her beleaguered staff. Over time, however she slowly layered over top officials, essentially hiring old hands - like Hillaryland stalwart Maggie Williams and pollster Geoff Garin - to run the campaign while the previous staffers were quietly relegated to subsidiary positions." (Glenn Thrush and Annie Karni, "Clinton Weights Staff Shake-Up After New Hampshire," Politico, 2/8/16)

But Former Obama Top Strategist David Axelrod Says It's Not The Staff…It's The Candidate

David Axelrod: "When The Exact Same Problems Crop Up In Separate Campaigns, With Different Staff, At What Point Do The Principals Says, 'Hey, Maybe It's US?' " (David Axelrod, Twitter Feed, 2/8/16)

(David Axelrod, Twitter Feed, 2/8/16)


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