WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton‘s campaign tried to move the Illinois presidential primary to a later date, believing it might stop momentum for a moderate Republican candidate after the Super Tuesday primaries and emphasizing that the Clintons won’t forget a political favour, emails made public Thursday show.
A November 2014 email hacked from the accounts of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was among nearly 2,000 new emails published by the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. The email, from Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook to Podesta, said Obama administration officials should use their connections in the president’s home state to try to push back the March 15 Illinois primary by at least a month.
“The overall goal is to move the IL primary out of mid-March, where they are currently a lifeline to a moderate Republican candidate after the mostly southern Super Tuesday,” Mook wrote.
“IL was a key early win for (GOP presidential candidate Mitt) Romney” in 2012.
While the request would come from Obama, the president and former Illinois senator, “the key point is that this is not an Obama ask, but a Hillary ask,” Mook said.
“The Clintons won’t forget what their friends have done for them,” he added.
Mook suggested that Bill Daley, a former White House chief of staff and longtime Illinois power broker, should call the staff chief for Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan to make the request.
Mook made it clear it would be a tough sell because Madigan and other Illinois officials “feel forgotten and neglected by POTUS,” a reference to Obama.
It’s not clear whether Daley or administration officials requested the change, or how hard they pushed for it. The primary was held as scheduled March 15. Clinton won the Democratic primary, while Donald Trump won the Republican contest.