What a leaked email reveals about identity politics in the Clinton campaign

Hey kids, want to play “Name that food group?”

WikiLeaks released a document this week purporting to be a March 17 email to Hillary Clinton from her campaign manager, John Podesta, listing potential running mates chosen by Podesta and five other top campaign aides. I say “purporting” because the Clinton campaign has said, without providing specifics, that the emails hacked from Podesta’s account had been adulterated, and that the hack was the work of Russians trying to swing the election in Donald Trump’s favor. (It’s a little late for that, tovarishchi.)

Yet the words have the ring of authenticity, thanks to the way the list is organized. Given the same task as Podesta, you or I might have listed possible candidates according to the strength of their qualifications, their political potency or perhaps how well they complemented Clinton. Podesta, on the other hand, divided the 39 names into seven batches, which he described as “rough food groups.” But what he meant was, “by voting blocs,” or more to the point, “by identity politics.”

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