In an email exchange between top campaign aides discussing government reform and public corruption proposals, insiders worried Hillary Clinton “may be so tainted she’s really vulnerable” and unable to take a strong stand against corruption.
Among five proposals to address corruption in government, one struck a nerve with the campaign:
Require full public reporting in government purchases or contracts, create stricter penalties for contractors who violate agreements.
Drafted by Neera Tanden, president of the progressive think tank Center for American Progress, the proposal illicited a negative response from Jake Sullivan saying the idea, which was the second of five listed, “is a favorite of mine, as you know, but REALLY dicey territory for HRC, right?”
Tanden responded that the proposal may be a “jump ball,” or wash, adding Clinton’s problems in this area could be spun into an asset. “She may be so tainted she’s really vulnerable = if so, maybe a message of I’ve seen how this sausage is made, it needs to stop, I’m going to stop it will actually work,” Tanden wrote.
Domestic policy advisor Sara Solow replied she thought the idea was something to “mull” after seeing a final draft of the proposal, writing, “On bribery, we can try writing it out and then mull.”
The exchange was made public as part of the WikiLeaks release of campaign chairman John Podesta’s personal emails.