Report details 'list' of Clinton supporters, detractors from 2008

Report details 'list' of Clinton supporters, detractors from 2008
CNN
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Monday, January 13, 2014 - 12:41pm

In the ongoing buzz about Hillary Clinton's potential bid for the White House in 2016, the latest talk surrounds a list that her aides created not long after her unsuccessful presidential campaign in 2008.

The list, which meticulously details high-profile figures who supported Clinton's campaign as well as those who backed then-foe Barack Obama, was jointly reported by The Hill's Amie Parnes and Politico's Jonathan Allen as part of their upcoming book, "HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton."

According to the report, Democratic lawmakers were given a rating of 1-7 on an early draft of the list, with 1 meaning the lawmaker was considered "helpful", and 7 representing a colleague who was considered "treacherous."

America Rising, an anti-Hillary Clinton group, wrote a blog post Monday morning, describing the reported list as a "rejected script" from the Netflix series "House of Cards."

In the long 2008 nomination battle between the two senators, the competition for congressional endorsements was a highly-covered topic, with many of the "sevens" making headlines when they threw their support to Obama rather than Clinton.

"Old news," one Democratic source supportive of Clinton told CNN, referring to the report. "Time to move on."

While it's true many of the endorsements were reported in 2008, the new report details the record-keeping process by remaining members of the Clinton team after Clinton ended her bid for the White House in early June of that year.

"I wouldn't, of course, call it an enemies list," one source was quoted saying in the report. "I don't want to make her sound like Nixon in a pantsuit."

The group of "sevens" included Clinton's successor at the state department, John Kerry, who was a longtime senator from Massachusetts at the time and a former Democratic presidential nominee. He supported Obama early in 2008.

Others on the "seven" list were Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-West Virginia; Bob Casey, D-Pennsylvania; and Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont. On the House side, Reps. Chris Van Hollen, D-Maryland and Rob Andrews, D- New Jersey were considered "sevens."

CNN reached out to each lawmaker's office for comment. A representative from Rockefeller's office declined to comment on the list.

Perhaps the most noteworthy name on the list was the late-Sen. Ted Kennedy, who passed away in 2009. Kennedy famously backed Obama early on in the primary process, saying "It is time again for a new generation of leadership."

Van Hollen told Politico Monday that it was a "mystery" to him as to why he got a "seven" rating. The congressman endorsed Obama a day after the then-senator became the presumed nominee by gaining the necessary amount of delegates in June.

Van Hollen added he's a "huge supporter of Hillary Clinton."

"I hope she will run for president," he continued.

The member who drew perhaps the most ire in 2008, however, was Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Missouri. The Clintons backed McCaskill in 2006 when she was first running for the Senate. That same year, however, she said on "Meet the Press" she considered Bill Clinton a "great leader" but added, "I don't want my daughter near him."

McCaskill immediately regretted the comment, the report states, and she asked forgiveness from the Clintons. The relationship seemed somewhat on the mend, but when Hillary Clinton sought McCaskill's endorsement during the presidential cycle, McCaskill sided with Obama.

Fast forward to 2013, McCaskill appeared to be back in Hillary Clinton's camp.

The Missouri Senator, who won re-election in 2012, became the first member of Congress to officially back the Ready for Hillary PAC, throwing her support to the group last June. The group was started by Hillary Clinton fans last year to encourage the former secretary of state to run for office.

It's unknown whether the Clintons have done anything specific with the list since 2008, but it's no secret that Bill Clinton has since frequently campaigned for those who backed his wife.

Yet he was also a crucial supporter in Obama's re-election campaign and a high-profile backer of the President's health care reform law.

In other signs of change, Clinton and Obama appear to have rekindled their friendship. As Clinton was leaving the state department early last year, he publicly thanked her in a "60 Minutes" interview, saying she'll go down as "one of the finest secretaries of state" and he is "going to miss her."

For her part, Clinton said her role as the nation's top diplomat was an "extraordinary opportunity to work with (Obama) as a partner and friend and to do our very best."

Kerry has also been highly complimentary of Clinton since he followed in her footsteps and became secretary of state last year.

-- CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.
 

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