I rarely read post-mortem books about political campaign intrigue written by minor players. They tend to be incidental, lack durability, tend toward the mundane, and usually include a flacid “bombshell” to attract the gullible partisan. Two weeks after hitting the bookstores, any remaining unsold material will be consigned to the remainder bins – or sent to the factory for pulping. (Sidebar: I did read Hillary Clinton’s “What Happened” and Katy Tur’s “Unbelievable” and found both to be interesting and enjoyable.)
Democratic operative Donna Brazile’s new book is out: “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House.” Presumably we are supposed to believe that Brazile was a campaign insider and that the campaign staff that helped Clinton amass 3 million more votes than Trump were a bunch of hacks.
One hundred actual Clinton campaign staffers signed a letter in response to Brazile’s tome calling her out, saying “we do not recognize the campaign she portrays in the book.” They also take a swipe at Donna, stating in frustration at the end, “we are pretty tired of people who were not part of our campaign telling the world what it was like to be on the inside of our campaign and how we felt about it.” Ouch.
New reports say Brazile claims in the book that she was considering making a move to dump Hillary and VP candidate Tim Kaine from the slate and replace them with someone better – presumably in direct defiance of the millions of primary voters who had already cast ballots for her. Did she actually have such sweeping authority, and did she think for even a second that that would go down smoothly? Had she made such a bold move, I’m sure we’d see someone else publish a book titled “Whacked: The Inside Story of Donna Brazile’s Breakdown That Put Donald Trump in the White House.”
The big “bombshell” in “Hacks” is that through Hillary’s financial support of the Democratic National Committee she was able to tilt the rank and file her way. Brazile called this “unethical” if not “illegal.” I don’t know much about the inner workings of a national political committee, but I would assume that if you take the money, you are vulnerable. If Hillary giving contributions amounted to unethical behavior, what should accepting the money be called?
The weirdest reaction to the revelation that Hillary propped up the DNC and in return received favorable treatment came from the Bernie Sanders supporters who whined and moaned about how the game was rigged against their guy. Did they forget that Bernie is not a Democrat? It always seemed odd to me that a political party would even allow a non-member to seek nomination as their top candidate. Would the Republicans tolerate Michael Moore running for Governor of Michigan on their ticket?
If the dude wanted to run for president on the Democratic ticket and benefit from all the Democratic funding, support, logistics, polling and the like – then he should have joined the party.
On the Auction/Butcher Block
The Beatles’ eleventh American-released album was titled “Yesterday and Today,” a platter sandwiched between two of the greatest albums of all time: “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver.” It was a popular compilation album offering such classics as “Nowhere Man,” “Drive My Car,” “Day Tripper,” and “Yesterday.” Here’s the cover that 99+ percent of the fan base saw when the album hit the record stores in 1966.
The original cover for “Yesterday and Today” however featured the Fab Four dressed in butcher smocks draped in pieces of meat and body parts from baby dolls. That photo was taken as part of an art project and was never intended to be an album cover – but Paul McCartney pushed for it, and so it was done. Capitol Records pressed about 750,000 copies but after receiving letters of nearly-unanimous revulsion they recalled the few copies that were distributed and pasted new covers over those that were still in the warehouse. Many were destroyed.
Naturally, those actions made the so-called “Butcher Cover” an instant collectible. Many people who bought the album with the alternate cover learned they could steam it off, but such instances are not highly valued by collectors. Only specimens that had not been sullied by the paste-job are truly valued – especially those still sealed in the original shrink wrap. Furthermore, for every stereo version of the Butcher Cover album that Capitol pressed, there were 10 mono versions – so a still-sealed stereo version of the Beatles’ “Yesterday and Today” with the Butcher Cover is among the most prized holy grails for record collectors. Last year one such example sold at auction for $125,000.
Now imagine the value of the rarer stereo version of an original Butcher Cover album containing original artwork by John Lennon and signed by McCartney and Ringo Starr.
Heritage Auctions will be putting the so-called “rarest Beatle record in the world” on the block on November 11. Opening bid was $100,000 but that has already been surmounted on the Heritage website.
You have but six days to get your bid in. Start the paperwork on your second mortgage today!