When Anthony Weiner’s campaign was running like a well-oiled…um…machine of one sort or another, it was abundantly clear that Hillary Clinton was using his fundraising capability and scintillating personality to court high-level donors in New York City for a potential 2016 financial push. The lists were the same, all the same people went to the cocktail parties, and Huma Abedin, Hillary’s top aide, who has been noticeably absent from her husband’s life since his first set of dalliances became a bedrock of Weiner’s campaign strategy.
Since that has failed miserably, it seems the Clinton machine has moved on from running NYC mayoral campaigns to cutting their teeth on a gubernatorial race. After last week’s swanky fundraiser at Hillary’s Embassy Row home (followed by a private after-party), featuring a veritable who’s-who of the Clinton years in attendance, it seems the Clinton dynasty is heavily involved in Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia campaign, so much so that you might say it’s a dress rehearsal, at least for one major McAuliffe aide, campaign manager Robby Mook.
Hillary Clinton met privately Monday night with veteran Democratic operative Robby Mook, one of her well-regarded 2008 campaign aides who’s currently managing Terry McAuliffe’s bid for Virginia governor, sources told POLITICO.
The private meeting, which sources described as brief, came during a fundraiser Clinton threw for McAuliffe at her Washington home on Monday night.
McAuliffe has a held a steady lead over Republican Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. The Clintons have monitored the Virginia race closely, and Mook is better positioned than any other operative to offer a direct readout on the state of play.
Mook is also the operative cited most often by former Clinton aides and Obama aides as someone who could manage a 2016 Clinton presidential effort. And the race Mook has managed for McAuliffe — whose last gubernatorial campaign in 2009 was generally rated as a disaster — has been streamlined and focused, with clear messaging and no drama.
No doubt this guy should be in line. I mean, he has a guy who once showed up drunk on an MSNBC morning program with the empty liquor bottle he’d just polished off and he’s managed to hand him a ten point lead in the polls, when by all rights, McAuliffe should have disappeared in a tequila-scented cloud of smoke months ago. But it’s not as though Mook hasn’t had hard cases before. After all, he’s the one who ran Hillary’s 2008 primary efforts in the west, and was the only Clinton campaign manager to rack up wins against the Obama machine.
Of course, Mook isn’t the only Clinton connection inside the McAuliffe campaign (other than, obviously, McAuliffe himself, and big-time fundraisers and 90s icons Carville and Begala). Clinton’s own brother, Anthony Rodham, has a business relationship with McAuliffe centering around McAuliffe’s controversial GreenTech enterprise. So we’re really leaving no stone un-turned here in the quest to bring this as far into the Clinton camp as humanly possible.