MSNBC shows great interest in purported Clinton "enemies list," despite NY Times article's absence of on-the-record evidence
Research ››› ››› MARCIA KUNTZ, MEREDITH ADAMS, LILY YAN & DIANNA PARKER
Despite the absence in a June 11 New York Times article of on-the-record evidence of a Clinton "enemies list," MSNBC interviewed New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich twice and devoted a total of nearly 25 minutes to the topic in at least 10 separate segments that day.
Despite reporter Mark Leibovich's inclusion in his June 11 New York Times article of a flat assertion by a Clinton spokesman that "[t]here is no list," despite Leibovich's acknowledgment on-air that "there is not a formal document," and despite the absence in the article of any named source asserting or confirming the existence of a Clinton "enemies list," MSNBC interviewed Leibovich twice on June 11 and devoted at least 10 segments to his article between 6 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET.
Moreover, while Leibovich asserted -- citing three anonymous "Clinton associates and campaign officials" -- that "the lists of people Clinton loyalists regard as some variation of 'ingrate,' 'traitor' or 'enemy' " have "swelled," the term "enemies list" does not actually appear in the Times article. Nor did Leibovich quote any source, named or otherwise, saying that Sen. Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton or their supporters would punish those who did not support Hillary Clinton's campaign. Nonetheless, MSNBC used the caption " 'enemies list' " -- in quotes -- at least twice, and Leibovich referred on-air to a "so-called enemies list."
Leibovich quoted no named sources asserting or confirming that the Clintons or their aides keep a list or lists of "enem[ies]." He reported that Doug Band, an aide to Bill Clinton, "keeps close track of the past allies and beneficiaries of the Clintons who supported Mr. Obama's campaign, three Clinton associates and campaign officials said. Indeed, he is widely known as a member of the Clinton inner circle whose memory is particularly acute on the matter of who has been there for the couple -- and who has not." But, according to Leibovich, Band "declined to comment." Leibovich further wrote: "While Mrs. Clinton has a short list of people who disappointed her, Mr. Clinton, who reportedly has an encyclopedic memory of all the people he has helped, employed or appointed over the years, apparently has a far longer one, the campaign officials said." In other words, the Times devoted 860 words, and MSNBC nearly 25 minutes, to the unremarkable disclosure that the Clintons remember who stood by them and who they think did not.
Moreover, the Times quoted only one named source stating any consequences of this memory -- and that consequence was positive.
"The Clintons get hundreds of requests for favors every week," said Terry McAuliffe, the chairman of Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign. "Clearly, the people you're going to do stuff for in the future are the people who have been there for you."
Mr. McAuliffe, who knows of Mr. Band's diligent scorekeeping, emphasized that "revenge is not what the Clintons are about." The accounting is more about being practical, he said, adding, "You have to keep track of this."
According to McAuliffe, as quoted in the article, the Clintons want to remember who are "the people who have been there for you" because they are "the people you're going to do stuff for in the future."
The Politico's Ben Smith and Mike Allen noted that an "early version" of Leibovich's article in the International Herald Tribune included material not in the Times version; as Allen noted, in the Herald Tribune version, "Mr. Band's enemies list was a physical 'BlackBerry document.' Now [in the New York Times version], it seems to [be] a psychic tally." The Herald Tribune version of the article also included the phrases "black lists" and "enemies lists," but did not attribute either phrase to any named source. The Times version did not include either term.
Notwithstanding the absence of evidence of an actual list, MSNBC devoted a total of 24 minutes and 58 seconds to the story.
|MSNBC||Beginning of segment||End of segment||Total time|
|6 a.m. ET||13 minutes 42 seconds||15 minutes 04 seconds||1 minute 22 seconds|
|36 minutes 27 seconds||36 minutes 46 seconds||19 seconds|
|1 hour 8 minutes 38 seconds||1 hour 15 minutes 05 seconds||6 minutes 27 seconds|
|9 a.m. ET||24 minutes 40 seconds||25 minutes 02 seconds||22 seconds|
|10 a.m. ET||15 minutes 30 seconds||19 minutes 45 seconds||4 minutes 15 seconds|
|11 a.m. ET||21 minutes 36 seconds||22 minutes 26 seconds||50 seconds|
|32 minutes 40 seconds||35 minutes 56 seconds||3 minutes 16 seconds|
|12 p.m. ET||NO COVERAGE||NO COVERAGE||NO COVERAGE|
|1 p.m. ET||21 minutes 56 seconds||26 minutes 29 seconds||4 minutes 33 seconds|
|2 p.m. ET||35 minutes 45 seconds||35 minutes 55 seconds||10 seconds|
|44 minutes 41 seconds||48 minutes 05 seconds||3 minutes 24 seconds|
|3 p.m. ET||NO COVERAGE||NO COVERAGE||NO COVERAGE|
|4 p.m. ET||NO COVERAGE||NO COVERAGE||NO COVERAGE|
|TOTAL: 24 minutes 58 seconds|
From the June 11 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe:
WILLIE GEIST (co-host): You know, there's an interesting story we'll talk more about. We're going to have Mark Leibovich on from The New York Times. He's got this story out --
JOE SCARBOROUGH (co-host): He hasn't written an article about anybody at MSNBC, has he?
GEIST: No, no, no.
MIKA BRZEZINSKI (co-host): Oh, gosh, I hope not.
SCARBOROUGH: That last one was scary.
GEIST: We're not going into that one.
BRZEZINSKI: Are you sure?
GEIST: But, he has written one about Bill and Hillary Clinton. Apparently they've got this list.
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, dear.
GEIST: The enemies list.
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, boy.
GEIST: And they've taken names of people who were once loyal to them who've switched sides to [Sen. Barack] Obama. It's unclear what happens to you if you're on the list.
BRZEZINSKI: Who's on the list?
SCARBOROUGH: Mika, you've gotta be at the top of the list.
BRZEZINSKI: I am not on the list.
SCARBOROUGH: If you're not number one, you're number two.
BRZEZINSKI: Why do you say that?
GEIST: You are Richardson --
BRZEZINSKI: Why would you feed into that incorrect --
SCARBOROUGH: Well, because everybody at M -- let me just say this. Everybody at MSNBC but Willie and I are on the list.
BRZEZINSKI: Uh-huh. Yeah. Well --
GEIST: Thank you. From the beginning.
BRZEZINSKI: I'm not on the list.
GEIST: No, you're on the list.
BRZEZINSKI: I'm not. Where's my Kool-Aid?
SCARBOROUGH: You, Bill Richardson --
GEIST: We'll ask Mark if you're on the list or not.
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, Mark Leibovich. My brother, I thought you were saying. No, I'm not on the list, but I want to hear who is. And then I want to know, what can they do with the list?
GEIST: Right. What does it mean?
SCARBOROUGH: Well, if they can -- Hillary Clinton's not going away.
SCARBOROUGH: I just hope, if you are a businessman or -woman in the state of New York and you think that Hillary's out of your life --
BRZEZINSKI: Oh -- mmm-mmm-mmm.
SCARBOROUGH: Uh-uh. She's going to be senator here until --
BRZEZINSKI: She's amazing.
SCARBOROUGH: -- she decides to be something else. So. All right, coming up next, we have MSNBC's David Shuster. Now, he's on the list. Plus, weather -
SCARBOROUGH: -- and "Morning Papers" when Morning Joe continues.
BRZEZINSKI: He's definitely on the list. Just stamp "list" across his face.
SCARBOROUGH: List, right across the top.
SCARBOROUGH: Hold on. I got my schedule here. It says, "MSNBC correspondent David Shuster at 6:30." I think we have the wrong satellite feed.
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, I know what it is.
SCARBOROUGH: Hey, T.J. --
BRZEZINSKI: He's so scared that he's on the list. He's hiding.
SCARBOROUGH: Wait, is that the -- have the Clintons --
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, boy.
SCARBOROUGH: -- have they already?
PRODUCER: I think he turned around at the door when he heard you.
SCARBOROUGH: Was he turned around?
BRZEZINSKI: Yeah. There was Bill, waiting for him.
SCARBOROUGH: I wonder if he's in a bunker in West Virginia somewhere with the vice president.
GEIST: Either that or the Clintons' ninjas with their ski masks got him on the way in, threw him into a van.
SCARBOROUGH: OK, so --
SCARBOROUGH: Let's bring in right now Mark Leibovich, speaking of lists, of The New York Times, who wrote in today's paper about an ominous enemies list that the Clintons are keeping. Number one on that list, of course? MSNBC's own Mika Brzezinski.
BRZEZINSKI: Oh, no. Mark.
SCARBOROUGH: Number two. David Shuster. Mark, obviously your article has had an impact. Shuster was scheduled to be on at last report. He is hurtling northward towards West Virginia. An undisclosed location.
LEIBOVICH: You got the call from Bill this morning, huh?
SCARBOROUGH : Yeah. In a windowless van.
BRZEZINSKI: I'm not on the list.
SCARBOROUGH : Talk about the enemies list.
LEIBOVICH: Well, I mean, first of all, there is not a formal document that is sitting somewhere up in the Clinton Foundation --
SCARBOROUGH: Mark, Mark, Mark, there never is, is there?
LEIBOVICH: I need -- I need to be responsible, Joe. No, I think this is more of a verbal tradition than a spoken tradition. I mean, obviously coming out of a campaign like this, you know, the vaunted Friends of Bill and Friends of Hillary list is going to be shorter, and the Christmas card list might be a little shorter. And the so-called enemies list, or any list with any number of antecedents that can't be spoken on television is going to be longer. Bill Richardson is number one on most lists. You know, Joe Andrew, the former Clinton superdelegate and DNC chair who flipped to Obama. A lot of Hillary Clinton's colleagues in the Senate, such as Claire McCaskill, Amy Klobuchar. John Kerry's on the list. Many members of the Kennedy family are on the list. And actually, there are probably a few members of this network who are on the list.
SCARBOROUGH: I was just going to say --
SCARBOROUGH: -- let's go down that list.
SCARBOROUGH: Keith Olbermann on the list?
LEIBOVICH: Uh, I would say yes.
SCARBOROUGH: Chris Matthews?
LEIBOVICH: You know, yes, absolutely.
SCARBOROUGH: David -- David Shu -- you did an article on him once. You were so mean.
LEIBOVICH: David Shuster -- I've never written about David Shuster.
SCARBOROUGH: David Shuster? David Shuster?
LEIBOVICH: I've never written about David Shuster.
SCARBOROUGH: No, you know what he's talking about. David Shuster, on the list?
LEIBOVICH: Yeah, I would say he's on the list.
SCARBOROUGH: Mika Brzezinski, on the list?
BRZEZINSKI: Mark --
LEIBOVICH: You know, I've not heard Mika's name, and in fact, I would be stunned and shocked if Mika were on the list.
SCARBOROUGH: There we go. Very good. So, talk about -- it had -- of course, I'm on the Christmas card list now because I really did -- I kissed up to her as shamelessly as anybody in the media.
BRZEZINSKI: It was unbelievable. You actually fell in love on television.
SCARBOROUGH: Mark, it was love.
BRZEZINSKI: It was uncomfortable.
SCARBOROUGH: It was lawyers in love. I know the coup is coming, and when it comes, my family's going to be safe and protected.
SCARBOROUGH: So, Mark, you know, as you project forward, a lot of people are very short-sighted in politics and in Washington. But this could have an impact. The Clintons -- Hillary Clinton is not going anywhere. She's going to still be a very powerful senator from New York state and possibly more.
LEIBOVICH: Absolutely, and clearly she was very enthusiastic and full-throated of her endorsement of Senator Obama on Saturday. But, you know, it didn't take a lot to talk to people in the audience to realize there is a pretty long list of grudges that are going to be nursed. Now, obviously, when you're on the losing end as the Clintons were, there's a greater sense of victimization, but at the same time, the Clintons are a very practical political couple, and, you know, if there is a need for political partnership or if they need people in the future, they're certainly going to ask for help. But at the same time, I don't think Bill Richardson should be asking for a job recommendation from his second cousin for the Clinton Foundation.
BRZEZINSKI: No, he won't. He won't.
SCARBOROUGH: It's not going to happen. Now, Mark, you differentiate between the spouses. Bill Clinton has a very, very long list in mind. Hillary Clinton's list, not so long. She's a lot more practical than him. But he really -- you say, and this is so funny the way you write it, and I've heard this before: that Bill Clinton remembers everybody he ever did a favor for. Every political position he gave, every letter he wrote, every speech he gave -- and he expected all those people to come back and help Hillary, and they just didn't do it.
LEIBOVICH: Absolutely. And I think, you know, it was a faulty assumption to begin with that loyalty to Bill Clinton, such as it was, would extend seamlessly to his wife. I mean, clearly also, though, when it's a spouse you tend to be more emotional, and Bill Clinton has proven to be very emotional in this campaign, more so than Hillary Clinton, who is far more disciplined and frankly busier. But it's been a very -- no, I mean, I think Bill Clinton has taken this far more personally, far more acutely than Hillary has.
SCARBOROUGH: What about Vanity Fair? Do we expect the Clintons at the Vanity Fair Oscar party next year?
LEIBOVICH: You know, that's a great question. I wouldn't expect it, and nor was the copy of Vanity Fair present in Mrs. Clinton's Senate office the other day. I was pretty surprised.
SCARBOROUGH: Is that -- would Todd Purdum, who wrote that article, be at the top of the list right now?
LEIBOVICH: He'd certainly be in the media wing of the Clinton hall of fame at this point. It is sort of a -- it's a dynamic document, which changes. Frankly, I'm sure there are people at my newspaper, including myself, who's been on the list. But it's also -- it's a living, breathing document, it changes, and frankly, like politics, it does tend to be something that revolves quite a bit.
SCARBOROUGH: What about -- what about the Clintons? It seems there is a bit of a civil war going on here, according to your article, that some of Bill's people are blaming Patti Solis Doyle for the loss. Some of Hillary's people are going after Mark Penn still.
LEIBOVICH: Right. Now, certainly, I mean, that is -- first of all, that is not exclusive to the Clintons. There's going to be hand-wringing after any campaign, especially after any losing campaign. And clearly, I mean, there has been any number of recriminations over the last few months, and certainly in the last few days, of Bill's people blaming Hillary's people and Hillary's people blaming Bill's people and also Bill himself. So yeah, I mean, this civil war is hardly new or exclusive to the Clintons.
SCARBOROUGH: All right, Mark Leibovich. So good to have you with us. This is a must-read New York Times "Political Memo." Those loyal to the Clintons take note of who was not. It is a full-throated enemies list.
From the 9 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on June 11:
TAMRON HALL: And Hillary Clinton may be supporting Barack Obama now, but she's reportedly keeping close track of who has been supporting her and who hasn't.
The New York Times reports on the Clintons' so-called enemies list. It reportedly includes high-profile Obama supporters like Governor Bill Richardson and several Kennedys, as well as members of the media.
From the 10 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on June 11:
MONICA NOVOTNY (anchor): Hillary Clinton may have given her full support to Barack Obama, but indications today are that it won't be forgive and forget for those who abandoned her to jump on the Obama bandwagon.
A story in today's New York Times suggests the Clintons and those closest to them are likely to have very long memories when it comes to those people they see as betraying them during the contentious primary battle. Joining us now, Jon Decker, Washington correspondent for Reuters television, and Eleanor Clift, contributing editor with Newsweek.
Eleanor, Terry McAuliffe, who I can't believe isn't just exhausted somewhere sleeping right now, but McAuliffe says that the Clinton's are not about revenge. But yet, when it came to the superdelegates endorsing, we were hearing so much about this fear from some of them who were keeping quiet, that there was this fear of crossing the Clintons. If there's any truth there, what is it to be afraid of when it comes to the Clintons?
CLIFT: Well, I think there would have been greater fear if Hillary had gotten the nomination, and what kind of a White House she would have run. I know reporters were worried about how the press would be treated, because there were some rocky moments along the way and feeling is they would run a press operation that was really very tight, clamped down, very little access. And I think other people were worried about whether they would get, you know, jobs and patronage and invitations to state dinners. It's that -- it's that simple. But, look, they're going to remember everybody who didn't stick by them. I think people like Governor Bill Richardson would certainly be at the top of the list. People who think they owe their careers to Bill Clinton's administration. But they also know how to forgive and forget when it's in their interest. Hillary Clinton, after all, went to the Senate and sat down with people who had tried to impeach her husband. So, I think, especially now that they're the vanquished ones, they're not going to hold grudges where it's counterproductive.
NOVOTNY: And Jon, Terry McAuliffe also says in that same article, "The Clintons get hundreds of requests for favors every week. Clearly, the people you're going to do stuff for in the future are the people who have been there for you." So, is that what this is about now, at this stage of the game, since, as Eleanor pointed out, it's no longer about whether she's running the next administration and how people are treated there, but going forward, is this about, you know, well, if my son-in-law needs a job recommendation, I guess I won't call Bill and ask him?
DECKER: Yeah, that's a big part of it. You know, just -- obviously, Hillary Clinton is a U.S. Senator, Bill Clinton a former president, but they're also human. If you or I were up for a position, a promotion, for instance, and someone that we trusted, that we depended on, maybe have done favors for, did not support you in that promotion, maybe you'd look at them at a different way. And I think that the Clintons will look at certain people in a different way right now. Janet Napolitano and Bill Richardson, Susan Rice. I mean, the list goes on and on. But I think when all is said and done, they're politicians; they understand how the game is played. And, as Eleanor points out, the Clintons can forgive. They'll never forget, but they can forgive and move on.
NOVOTNY: And, Eleanor, you pointed out New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, of course, who everyone seems to be talking about is at the top of that list. But Senator Claire McCaskill, Jim Clyburn, I mean, a lot of folks out there still. Will this mean anything for them politically as Senator Clinton returns to the Senate?
CLIFT: Well, I think Senator Clinton is going to return to the Senate, you know, wondering, you know, who is with her and who is against her. And actually knowing exactly who belongs on each list. I think her relationship with Claire McCaskill, for example, was pretty rocky already because Senator McCaskill came out for Obama early on. But, if Senator Clinton assumes a position of leadership in the U.S. Senate and she needs Senator McCaskill on health care and to be with her on legislation, she can become a real good buddy of hers real fast.
NOVOTNY: And, finally, Jon, I'm just about out of time here, but if Hillary were named to the ticket, if she were asked and joined Obama's ticket, would all be forgotten, or would there still be some names on that list that just aren't going to go away?
DECKER: Well, I think it would be a very interesting Cabinet meeting with some of these people around the table, but I think that when all is said and done, all is forgotten, they move on, and I think Hillary Clinton can put these bygones away.
NOVOTNY: Jon Decker, Eleanor Clift, thanks to both of you.
CLIFT: Thank you.
From the 11 a.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on June 11:
HALL: And let me ask you, this is a story we've been talking about all morning long. There's a New York Times article that alleges that the Clintons have a enemies list, people who they feel were once on their side, for lack of a better description, and are turncoats. Your name is said to be on this alleged list. If this list does exist, how do you respond to something like that?
SEN. AMY KLOBUCHAR (D-MN): You know, I wanted to talk about gas prices, Tamron.
HALL: You know what? I do too.
KLOBUCHAR: However, let me say this, let me say this. I think that Senator Clinton is a woman of great principle and great character. And I don't think for a minute she's going to come back to the Senate and treat people differently depending on who they supported. She ended her campaign with such elegance, and she will begin again a tremendous Senate career with the same kind of elegance, so I'm not one bit concerned about that.
HALL: Well, Hillary Clinton may have given her full support to Barack Obama, but indications today that it won't be forgive and forget for those who abandoned her to jump on the Obama bandwagon. A story in today's New York Times suggests the Clintons and those closest to them are likely to have very long memories when it comes to those people they see as betraying them during the contentious primary battle.
Mark Leibovich wrote the article; he joins me now. So, Mark, this is something that we've heard rumors about in the past, particularly when Governor Richardson came out and supported Barack Obama, that the Clintons would seek their revenge. What did you uncover?
LEIBOVICH: Well -- well, certainly, I mean, more than rumors. We have heard, you know, certainly explicit complaints by people within the Clinton world -- you know, from the president himself on down to a number of their loyalists -- that people like Bill Richardson or Joe Andrew, the former DNC chair who Clinton appointed, who was a Clinton superdelegate who flipped to Obama; you know, Claire McCaskill, the senator from Missouri; I mean, any number of people who would be natural allies for -- would have been natural allies for Hillary Clinton, you know, turned the other way.
And there have been some, obviously, nasty things said about these folks, both on the record and off the record. But, you know, again, this is not terribly atypical from the end about -- atypical of the end of a difficult campaign and a tough-fought campaign.
HALL: Yeah. Any idea what the repercussions of being on this list would be for someone?
LEIBOVICH: Well, I think it depends on the person. I mean, there's not, you know, to my knowledge, a centralized, you know, amalgam of all of these lists put together and, you know, someone [unintelligible] out retribution and so forth. But, you know, clearly Bill Richardson should not be, you know, calling Bill Clinton, asking for a recommendation --
LEIBOVICH: -- for his second cousin to, like, get a summer job at the Clinton foundation any time soon.
HALL: I'm curious, Mark, if anyone who's not on the list that supports Senator Clinton and the former president if they've had anything to say about whether this does exist and is a real climate -- or at least was when her campaign was up and running?
LEIBOVICH: Well, it certainly -- I mean, clearly feelings are still very raw. I mean, despite Senator Clinton's, you know, real grace note the other day, I mean, it didn't take long or wasn't difficult to find people in the audience who would have, you know, been very quick to curse everyone from, you know, the DNC Rules Committee to the entire state of Iowa to, you know, governors and senators who would have -- you know, who the Clintons have raised money for in the past who wanted to support Obama. So, you know, I think -- again, it's probably situational. And then these things, you know, do tend to play out and, you know, time does tend to heal things a little bit.
HALL: Right. Let me ask you, Mark, obviously would this list have been something really to fear if Senator Clinton had become the presumptive nominee for the Democrats?
LEIBOVICH: Well, clearly, you know, if you're the winner, you have more power. And, you know, there is a greater sense of grievance when you are on the losing end. So, sure. And now it's sort of in the interest of Hillary and Bill Clinton to try to -- I mean, if they want to, you know, be a big part of this campaign, as they said they have been, to obviously quell this bitterness to as much as they can. But, obviously, it's real.
HALL: Yeah. It's very interesting. All right, Mark, thank you very much. I appreciate you making time to talk about that article. So many people are buzzing about it today. Thank you.
From the 1 p.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on June 11:
ANDREA MITCHELL (anchor): Are the Clintons holding grudges? What do you think? Aides close to the senator's campaign say that the couple is keeping track of who stayed by her side during the primary and who deserted her for Barack Obama. The couple's spokesman says there is no list. But that doesn't rule out politicians and loyal supporters who are now calling others traitors.
Here with us now, Anne Kornblut, national political reporter for The Washington Post. Anne, first of all, let's talk about Terry McAuliffe quoted in The New York Times today. He says that "the Clintons get hundreds of requests for favors every week. Clearly, the people you're going to do stuff in the future are the people who have been there for you. Revenge is not what the Clintons are about. You have to keep track of this."
Well, how do you read this, and what do you think the likelihood is that they do hold grudges?
KORNBLUT: They've been sort of famous for holding grudges over time. You know, certainly in the 1990s people who crossed them would get crossed off the list, and not invited back in -- sometimes forever, sometimes for just a limited period of time.
I think what's going to be harder for them -- and I do believe that there are certainly, at least, mental counts for all of them of who was with them and who isn't. And when Senator Clinton returns to the Senate full time, she's going to remember which of her colleagues went with her and went with Obama. But I do think that it means less than it once might have. You know, we've seen now a new leader take over the Democratic Party, so the Clintons -- whatever their grudges might be -- are not going to be in a position to really seek out any kind of revenge in the way they once could have.
MITCHELL: You know, when you talk about who was a friend and who was a foe, let's look at some of the names of the more prominent people who were close to the Clintons and ended up being really important supporters of Barack Obama.
You see Bill Richardson; Jim Clyburn, who took offense at a number of things; Greg Craig, an early supporter for Obama who had been Clinton's defense lawyer for impeachment. I don't know how David Axelrod gets in there, but -- Claire McCaskill, certainly; Teddy Kennedy, they're certainly not going to be critical of Teddy Kennedy, given what he's going through now, but that was a big blow, Teddy and Caroline Kennedy. Who do you think they reserve their greatest amount of anger for? Bill Richardson, in that crowd?
KORNBLUT: Bill Richardson has certainly drawn a lot of public ire from them. I also know they're very upset at the group NARAL, the abortion-rights group, that --
MITCHELL: Boy, are they.
KORNBLUT: -- in the final days of her campaign, announced that they would support Obama really sort of unnecessarily at the last minute. I actually think NARAL's probably at the top of the list, the national NARAL leadership. Kennedy, sure -- they're upset, but they realize he had a right to do it. Almost everyone on that list that you've said, they're upset, but there's not a whole lot they can do about it except sort of harbor this, nurse it, and try and get over it.
MITCHELL: Well, in fact, on the NARAL endorsement, clearly Senator Clinton felt she had been with them through thick and thin for decades, and that it was piling on. And, in fact, some people have suggested that this is one that the Obama camp shouldn't have taken, that they should have pushed back and said, you know, it's not necessary to pile on, because it's going to make it harder to bring over the women who, you know, Barack Obama needs, because it just increased the level of anger.
KORNBLUT: I think that's right. And I think there were, you know, there were mixed feelings. Then again, the race had been going on for so long, they wanted to show women supporters or women who might have been on the fence that they did -- were able to earn support from a group such as NARAL. So, it was a tough call for the Obama campaign, and a really sort of personal hurt for the Clinton campaign.
MITCHELL: They don't seem as angry with John Edwards, for instance, presumably because they know that he was in a fight with them as well, and that Edwards was pretty much anticipated that he would end up with Obama and he waited so long until -- although it did have an impact, because it took away from the boost that they expected from the post-West Virginia victory.
KORNBLUT: Well, and also the Clinton -- Senator Clinton felt that she and Senator Edwards were actually closer on health care and the goal of universal health care and that he should have, on that basis alone, taken more consideration of supporting her. But Senator Edwards did not ever promise her that he wouldn't do this. And I think that's where the Richardson hurt came from.
Look, there are going to be many different ways for them to examine why they feel hurt about different people, either the duration of time, a lot of people they felt they had made their careers when during the '90s in the Democratic Party. But at the end of the day, like I say, it's not really going to mean much.
MITCHELL: Well, let's just say that Bill Richardson's going to have to find another invitation for Super Bowl Sunday next year.
KORNBLUT: That's right.
MITCHELL: It will not be chez Richardson.
MITCHELL: Thanks very much, Anne Kornblut.
From the 2 p.m. ET hour of MSNBC Live on June 11:
CONTESSA BREWER (anchor): And The New York Times today reports on the Clintons' so-called enemies list. It reportedly includes high-profile Obama supporters like Governor Bill Richardson and several Kennedys.
BREWER: To politics now. By most accounts, Hillary Clinton made a very graceful exit from the presidential race, throwing her support behind Barack Obama. But behind the scenes, oh, it may be a different story. That's according to a piece in today's New York Times. The story suggests the Clintons are likely holding grudges against those who abandoned them for Barack Obama.
Joel Mowbray is a syndicated columnist for TownHall.com. Nancy Giles is a social commentator. Now, how nice is it to get up on the stage Joel, and publicly say, go Barack Obama, and behind the scenes be keeping track. Well, this senator said he supports Barack Obama, this congressperson says he supports Barack Obama. Is that really what you think is happening?
MOWBRAY: I -- are you surprised if it is? I mean, look, this is the Clintons. Part of the appeal of the Clintons is that they take no prisoners. They keep an awful lot of enemies, but they take no prisoners. They are fighters. They, look -- they're old school, like, you know, real kind of politicians. They don't mess around. And I think Hillary is no less tough than Bill, and I think Bill certainly had an enemies list. It was legendary that when you crossed Bill, you paid a price. And by the way, Hillary, it was the same thing. If you crossed her on her health-care plan back in the '90s, there were Democrats who didn't have an invitation to the White House anymore, because of that. So, it just means things haven't changed.
BREWER: Well, now, here's Terry McAuliffe, quoted in the article, saying: "The Clintons get hundreds of requests for favors every week. Clearly the people you're going to do stuff for in the future are the people who have been there for you." I mean, well that's -- wait a minute. How is that not logical, though?
MOWBRAY: No, that's a verification of the story.
GILES: Well, but when I read that, I have to say it reminded me of that scene in The Godfather when there's the wedding and everybody's coming over to him, you know, bowing before him and saying Godfather. There's something about this list and the energy behind it that puts the Clintons at some sort of bizarre-o, highfalutin level -- the same way as when James Carville called Bill Richardson "Judas." So what does that make Bill and Hillary? I want to say they've been, guys --
BREWER: It was after his endorsement of Obama.
GILES: Guys, therapy helps, you know? I kept enemies lists when I was in fourth grade. And then you get over it.
BREWER: Well, it's certainly true the conservative bloggers are having a field day. Here's something from the website Powerline Blog comparing the Clintons' alleged grudges to Dante's Inferno: "Like the Clintons, Dante deemed treachery a profound evil, placing its practitioners in the ninth circle of hell. It begins and ends with an assessment of the varieties and levels of disloyalty." I mean, honestly.
GILES: Come on.
BREWER: That's very specific, Joel.
MOWBRAY: I don't disagree with any of it. Look, at the end of the day, the Clintons are as successful as they are for a reason. They know how to use power. I mean, that's the thing about Hillary Clinton.
GILES: Well --
MOWBRAY: The experience card I don't think ever was really true, but power is. She knows how to use power, she knows how to wield against people, how to hold it over people. And I think that's what they're doing with this.
BREWER: Nancy, jump in.
GILES: I was just going to say, she doesn't know as much as one would have thought. She and Bill did not know as much this time. And again, I mean, the Dante's Inferno quote -- I love that because really, all circles in the circle of hell kind of come back to Bill and Hillary. It's so all about them. By the way, MSNBC's on the list. Did you know that?
MOWBRAY: Do you know who she should be angriest at?
BREWER: Oh, no, no.
GILES: We're big stars.
BREWER: We're not anybody's enemies. I'm gonna --
MOWBRAY: Do you know who she should be angriest at?
GILES: "The cable network MSNBC whose hosts Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann are charter list members," they say. Whoo-hoo!
BREWER: Nancy, Joel -- we're nobody's enemies. We're friends to all. As everyone knows.
GILES: Isn't that lovely?
BREWER: Thank you both for being here.
MOWBRAY: I love you. I love you.
GILES: Oh, stop.
MOWBRAY: No? I can't say that?