When the First Clinton Campaign Used Inappropriately Accessed Online Data

There’s an interesting fight between Bernie Sanders and the DNC. The DNC has shut the Sanders campaign out of access to voter data after the Sanders campaign exploited a weakness in vender software to access confidential information from the Clinton campaign. It seems kind of similar to an anecdote from All Too Human, the memoir of George Stephanopoulos, at the time a Clinton campaign advisor.

Much of this technology was relatively new. At the Dukakis headquarters in Boston, the AP wire had reached us via a clickety-clack teletype machine. Now our kids were downloading stories onto their laptops.

We also subscribed to the New York Times online news service. At first, the Times inadvertently included an internal midday preview of the stories scheduled for the next day’s front page. This was inside information, and reminded me of the scheme in The Sting where Paul Newman booked bets on horse races after receiving the actual results on a hijacked wire. Knowing what the Times was working on, we could adjust an attack, prepare our defense, or springboard off a story to advance our agenda. When Bruce Lindsay made the mistake of mentioning our new research tool to a Times reporter on the plane, our windfall came to an abrupt end.

In that case, a campaign Hillary Clinton was intimately involved in did take advantage of a similar opening.

I do wonder if the excessive response to Sanders will backfire.

When there’s an appearance of shenanigans, I’ve observed that turnout increases among Democrats.

For example, attempts to keep Rahm Emanuel and Mike Duggan off the ballot in their first mayoral bids led to increased support. In the last presidential election, stories about Republicans making it tougher to vote coincided with higher turnout in swing states.

About Thomas Mets

I’m a comic book fan, wannabe writer, politics buff and New Yorker. I don’t actually follow baseball. In the Estonian language, “Mets” simply means forest, or lousy sports team. You can email me at mistermets@gmail.com
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