Hillary Clinton’s fundraisers are concerned by her campaign’s brunt of attacks on the “email fiasco” and have deep concerns about “new Benghazis.” In a question-answer conference call organized by Clinton’s campaign team, the Democrat’s handlers sought to assure donors that Clinton was well on her way to becoming America’s first female president.
The call was led by Clinton’s press secretary Brian Fallon and provided what was a frank look at the Democratic frontrunner’s campaign strengths and weaknesses to a panel of 36 backers. Each of the backers had raised approximately $27,000 for her campaign.
Fallon presented to the panel three challenges for Clinton’s campaign: the email fiasco, next month’s congressional Benghazi hearings and a pending anti-Clinton book by Donald Trump consultant Roger Stone titled ‘The Clintons’ War on Women.’
The campaign team reported to the panel that the email scandal presented their biggest challenge as it was virtually out of their hands. Fallon said, “I’ll be very clear — that issue is going to be with us for the next several months, if only because the emails themselves are on a schedule where they get released every 30 days. And that will be true until the end of the year. Unfortunately, we can’t control that.”
He did, however, reassure the panel that through Clinton finally tackling the issue and apologizing for using a private server for state emails, she had gained relief from reduced publicization of the fiasco in the media. Fallon said, “We have noticed that that has caused the temperature to drop markedly in terms of media attention around the issue. … That has sort of defanged a lot of the criticism.”
Fort Lauderdale lawyer Mitchell Berger, who is next month hosting a fundraiser for Clinton, said he hoped the team had learned their lesson from the whole incident and the delayed apology.
Fallon agreed with Berger, pointing out that in the coming months, new emails and new Benghazis would come up together with an anti-Clinton book that would be adequately dealt with by the team’s new set up: a “war room” to deliver prompt responses for attacks.
The campaign also reported to have changed their media strategy to allow Clinton more air time. Before, the team stonewalled reporters leading to plenty of unanswered questions that led to more stories. Now, the team holds more press conferences that “soak up all the oxygen, so there wasn’t all this pent-up energy.”
Miami’s Chris Korge offered reprieve for the former secretary of state saying, “Until she’s sworn in, and then after she’s sworn in, she’s going to be attacked every day in her presidency. She’s a frontrunner. And with that comes a price.”
The team ended the briefing with Fallon acknowledging the tough race ahead of them and reiterating their desire to win. “It’s going to be a fight. It’s going to be hand-to-hand combat. … We just need to react fast and be precise.”
Clinton’s campaign has borne the brunt of plenty of attacks from fellow Democratic candidates and the GOP field at large. The media has made a sport out of the scathing attacks that have hurt Clinton’s poll figures. Through a new strategy and a rejuvenated campaign, Clinton hopes to regain her momentum ahead of the first Democratic debate in October.