Donna Brazile visits U. of C. discusses new book and 2016 presidential election

By TONIA HILL
Staff Writer

Donna Brazile, veteran Democratic political strategist and former interim chair of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), spoke about her new book, the 2016 presidential election, and the future of the Democratic Party at the University of Chicago’s, Institute of Politics (IOP) on Monday, Nov. 13.

“Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House” was officially released Tuesday, Nov. 7, one day before the one-year anniversary of the 2016 election. It provides a detailed account from Brazile’s point of view on the 2016 Presidential election.

“I wrote this book because we were hacked in 2016 the nation was hacked,” Brazile said. “The hacking that took place was [done] to cause disruption in our democracy, to discredit Hillary Clinton and her campaign, and to destroy the Democratic National Committee.”

A joint FBI and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) report that was released early this year linked Russian intelligence services to the hacking of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta.

Fred Hochberg, former chairman and president of the U.S. Export-Import Bank led the discussion with Brazile that was held in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St., Hochberg is a resident fellow at the IOP this quarter.

Brazile was the first African-American to manage a presidential campaign.

In 2000, she served as campaign manager for Al Gore and has worked on every presidential campaign from 1976 through 2000.

She is an author, adjunct professor, syndicated columnist, and television commentator as well as a sought-after public speaker. Brazile has lectured at 125 universities across the country over the span of her career.

An excerpt from her new book was released publically at the beginning of this month, and it caused quite the controversy amongst Democrats some who questioned the timing of the release of the book and Brazile’s loyalty to the national party because she shines a light on the issues within the DNC in the book.

“Wounds don’t heal if you just cover over them you have to expose them,” Brazile said. “You have to let people see what it looks like; you have to clean those wounds. Our democracy was wounded our candidates were wounded. I want everyone to understand what we should do to address those wounds so we can heal properly.”
She added that the best time to debate the previous election cycle is one year later, while it’s still fresh.

In one chapter, she argues that an agreement made between Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC to help the party get out of debt, in turn, gave Clinton an unfair advantage in the primaries against Sen. Bernie Sanders.

“This agreement meant that Hillary’s campaign would control the DNC finances and I didn’t like that,” Brazile said.

Brazile also spoke about the future of the party and on what the next generation of young people can do to get involved in the DNC.

“You have to be ready to lead there are many ways to lead; you don’t just have to run for office,” Brazile said to a U. of C. student during the question and answer segment of the event. Lead from where are you are start from where you are.”

t.hill@hpherald.com