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How Do Big Backers of Clinton Convince Rich Liberals to Give Them Money? Read the Memo

"It is no secret that Sec. Clinton is fair-left and not far-left," says internal memo. But what do her centrist supporters really want to talk about?

Hillary Clinton during her first presidential election bid in 2008. A leaked memo from one of her most outspoken backers and financial bundlers reveals a strategy that would rather focus on the dangers of the Koch brothers than the divide that exists between leading Democratic nominee and more progressive members of the party. (Photo: Penn State/flickr/cc)

Would you like to know the kind of strategic thinking that's going on inside the mind of one of Hillary Clinton's top campaign operatives?

According to a document obtained by Politico and published on Tuesday, David Brock—a top Democratic strategist and described by the newspaper as a "Clinton enforcer"—created a Q&A-style memo designed to convince "unenthusiastic" but wealthy progressives why they should write sizeable checks to outside groups backing candidacy of the former U.S. senator and secretary of state.


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The document, it appears, was prepared ahead of a meeting of left-leaning wealthy donors, known as the Democracy Alliance, that took place in San Francisco earlier this year. In form, the memo sees Brock anticipating the kind of questions these wealthy donors might ask  and then provides his planned response. Overall, the guiding light of Brock's strategy is to argue that that wealthy liberals should back Clinton not because they love her overall policy agenda, but because she is simply the candidate most capable of tackling the regressive forces of the right-wing billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.

As Politico reports, "The memo suggests that Brock, who has built a fleet of deep-pocketed groups aligned with Clinton, is taking a conciliatory approach to assuage donors’ concerns – conceding she’s not as liberal as some donors wish, but emphasizing her progressiveness in public service and minimizing the prospects of a vigorous Democratic primary."

For example, he imagines a skeptical donor asking, "Aren't we going to have a hard time going after the Kochs' big money when some could argue that Sec. Clinton is bank rolled by Wall Street and therefore there is a pox on both their houses?"

The answer: "It is no secret that Sec. Clinton is fair-left and not far-left. I think it is safe to say that there will be a dramatic difference between Sec. Clinton and whoever is the Republican opponent. She has spent a lifetime advocating for women and children and fighting for the middle class and there is not one GOP candidate who has that record."

Though placed in a section titled "less likely" to be asked, Brock addressed the question about whether or not the Democratic Party needs to have a "vigorous debate" during the primary season—specifically concerning the gap between candidates like Clinton and much more progressive members of the party like Sen. Elizabeth Warren—by coming up with a dodge for the question. "Our job is to focus on the Koch brothers, exposing their self-serving agenda and making their spending a liability for Republicans."

Or in other words: No.

The document is embedded below and can be read in full:

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