During her 2008 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton's aides kept a meticulous "political hit list" containing the names of members of Congress who had "burned her" by endorsing Barack Obama, an upcoming book on Clinton's political "rebirth" reveals.
“We wanted to have a record of who endorsed us and who didn’t and of those who endorsed us, who went the extra mile and who was just kind of there," a member of Clinton's 2008 campaign team told Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, the authors of "HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton," in an excerpt published by Politico. "And of those who didn’t endorse us, those who understandably didn’t endorse us because they are [Congressional Black Caucus] members or Illinois members. And then, of course, those who endorsed him but really should have been with her.”
The data "ensured that the acts of the sinners and saints would never be forgotten," the authors wrote. "There was a special circle of Clinton hell reserved for people who had endorsed Obama or stayed on the fence after Bill and Hillary had raised money for them, appointed them to a political post or written a recommendation to ice their kid’s application to an elite school."
The list, kept on an Excel spreadsheet, included ratings for each member on a scale from 1 ("most helpful") to 7 ("most treacherous").
So just who were the "most treacherous"? According to the excerpt, Sens. John Kerry, Jay Rockefeller, Claire McCaskill, Bob Casey, Patrick Leahy the late Ted Kennedy, and Reps. Chris Van Hollen, Baron Hill and Rob Andrews each were assigned a rating of 7 for their public endorsements of Obama.
McCaskill's endorsement, in particular, irked Clinton because the Missouri Democrat had already publicly dinged Bill Clinton. “He’s been a great leader,” McCaskill said on "Meet the Press" in 2006, “but I don’t want my daughter near him.” McCaskill later apologized, but in 2008 became the first female senator to endorse Obama.
Kennedy, though, "had slashed Hillary most cruelly of all, delivering a pivotal endorsement speech for Obama just before the Super Tuesday primaries that cast her as yesterday’s news and Obama as the rightful heir to Camelot."
According to the book, Clinton aides would later joke among themselves about those they felt had betrayed them: “Bill Richardson: investigated; John Edwards: disgraced by scandal; Chris Dodd: stepped down; Ted Kennedy: dead.”