White House correspondent April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks sent an email to Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri urging her to set up a meeting between Hillary Clinton and black reporters “fast,” because black communities were not responding favorably enough to the former secretary of state.
According to an August 18, 2015 e-mail chain that included Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, whose online communications were reportedly hacked and later posted to Wikileaks, Ryan pitched an idea to the campaign in an email with a subject header, “Re: Hillary Clinton needs to sit down with black reporters fast. Her efforts in the black community are not resonating.”
“I would love to be a part of this sit down hopefully in DC,” Ryan wrote.
Palmieri responded, “Hi. Adding Karen [Finney] since she and I are working on more of this.”
Palmieri replied to Finney, “That would be great.”
Ryan replied all to the original email stating, “FYI I also just talked with Marcia Fudge and Shelia Jackson Lee. Also, Lets make the black reporters meeting happen asap.”
Finney, a member of the campaign’s communication shop, wrote privately to Palmieri, “Without April – how about I circle back with her. It’s a good idea but not sure the building is on fire.”
Clinton has struggled throughout the campaign to energize the black community to come out and vote for her in the same numbers that President Obama had. Obama himself has been on the campaign trail for Clinton this month attempting to bring out that Democratic base.
According to a recent Washington Post-ABC poll, among African Americans, Obama has a 91 percent approval rating while Clinton has an 83 percent rating.