Donna Brazile: I considered replacing Clinton with Biden as 2016 Democratic nominee

Donna Brazile: I considered replacing Clinton with Biden as 2016 Democratic nominee, by Philip Rucker.

Former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile writes in a new book that she seriously contemplated setting in motion a process to replace Hillary Clinton as the party’s 2016 presidential nominee with then-Vice President Biden in the aftermath of Clinton’s fainting spell, in part because Clinton’s campaign was “anemic” and had taken on “the odor of failure.”

In an explosive new memoir, Brazile details widespread dysfunction and dissension throughout the Democratic Party, including secret deliberations over using her powers as interim DNC chair to initiate the process of removing Clinton and running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (Va.) from the ticket after Clinton’s Sept. 11, 2016, collapse in New York City. … But then, she writes, “I thought of Hillary, and all the women in the country who were so proud of and excited about her. I could not do this to them.”

Brazile paints a scathing portrait of Clinton as a well-intentioned, historic candidate whose campaign was badly mismanaged, took minority constituencies for granted and made blunders with “stiff” and “stupid” messages. The campaign was so lacking in passion for the candidate, she writes, that its New York headquarters felt like a sterile hospital ward where “someone had died.” …

Brazile writes that she was haunted by the still-unsolved murder of DNC data staffer Seth Rich and feared for her own life, shutting the blinds to her office window so snipers could not see her and installing surveillance cameras at her home. She wonders whether Russians had placed a listening device in plants in the DNC executive suite. …

You don’t sack a candidate just for pneumonia:

Brazile describes in wrenching detail Clinton’s bout with pneumonia. On Sept. 9, she saw the nominee backstage at a Manhattan gala and she seemed “wobbly on her feet” and had a “rattled cough.” Brazile recommended Clinton see an acupuncturist.

Two days later, Clinton collapsed as she left a Sept. 11 memorial service at Ground Zero in New York. Brazile blasts the campaign’s initial efforts to shroud details of her health as “shameful.” …

But the enthusiasm gap was palpable:

As she traveled the country, Brazile writes, she detected an alarming lack of enthusiasm for Clinton. On black radio stations, few people defended the nominee. In Hispanic neighborhoods, the only Clinton signs she saw were at the campaign field offices.

But at headquarters in New York, the mood was one of “self-satisfaction and inevitability,” and Brazile’s early reports of trouble were dismissed with “a condescending tone.” ..

The condescension by the Clinton camp wasn’t just for deplorables:

Brazile writes with particular disdain about Brandon Davis, a Mook protege who worked as a liaison between the DNC and the Clinton campaign. She describes him as a spy, saying he treated her like “a crazy, senile old auntie and couldn’t wait to tell all his friends the nutty things she said.”

In staff meetings, Brazile recalls, “Brandon often rolled his eyes as if I was the stupidest woman he’d ever had to endure on his climb to the top. He openly scoffed at me, snorting sometimes when I made an observation.”