Michael Whouley, founding partner of the strategy group tied to Hillary Clinton’s budding 2016 presidential effort, orchestrated a traffic jam to help his client Al Gore win the 2000 New Hampshire primary against Bill Bradley.
Gore campaign manager Bob Shrum wrote in his memoirs about Whouley’s last-minute gambit to use the Gore motorcade to suppress the vote on primary day, as Slate’s David Weigel noted on Wednesday.
“Michael Whouley came up with a last-ditch scheme: Send Gore into areas of southern New Hampshire where there was a lot of Bradley support among upscale voters and commuters who worked across the border in Massachusetts. Many of them cast their ballots late in the day after driving home. Gore’s motorcade — candidate, press, Secret Service, and police — could snarl traffic and keep some of the commuters from ever getting to their polling places or even trying to,” Shrum wrote.
Gore was “irate” at the “massive traffic jam” but then “Gore got the point” after Whouley explained that “they’re mostly Bradley voters.”
Whouley was one of three close officials from the strategy firm the Dewey Square Group who met with Clinton at her Embassy Row house in early summer 2013 to discuss plans for an upcoming presidential effort. Whouley also managed Clinton’s victorious 2008 primary campaign field operation in New Hampshire, eight years after pulling off Gore’s traffic jam in the state.
Whouley was portrayed by actor Denis Leary in the 2008 HBO film “Recount” about the Gore campaign.
Republican New Jersey governor and 2016 presidential prospect Chris Christie is currently under fire for actions apparently taken by members of his staff to close highway lanes in the city of a Democratic mayor who did not endorse his re-election bid, according to recently released staff emails. Christie said in a press conference Thursday that he is “embarrassed and humiliated” by the scandal and he fired his deputy chief of staff Bridget Anne Kelly.
New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, a Hillary Clinton fundraiser and Christie’s Democratic successor in the post, is currently investigating the matter involving Christie’s staff.