Van Jones, the Democratic CNN commentator whose profile has risen in the aftermath of the November general election, had some tough talk for the presidential campaign he supported.
Speaking at The People’s Summit in Chicago over the weekend, Van accused the Clinton camp of hiring “data dummies” and essentially setting $1 billion “on fire.”
Jones confessed to the audience that he was “furious” over the level of spending the Democratic Party vainly committed to in trying to derail now President Donald Trump.
Mediaite, which was on-hand for the event, reports that Van tore “into Democrats for being too busy with their infighting to recognize that they aren’t resonating with voters.”
Jones also chastised Hillary Clinton for choosing between minorities and white working-class voters, calling her approach “the stupidest false choice I have ever heard.”
Van also argued Democrats may have been able to do better outreach for both if they hadn’t overspent on consultants and “data dummies,” who gave them a false sense of security with polling numbers that indicated a clear path to victory.
“They spent it on themselves. Let’s be honest,” Jones said. “They took a billion dollars, and set it on fire, and called it a campaign. That wasn’t a campaign! A billion dollars for consultants. A billion dollars for pollsters.”
— Tom Borelli (@tomborelli) June 11, 2017
While Van Jones’ speech was an attempt to diagnose the problems with Democrats in 2016 for hopes of correcting those issues in 2018, some believe the assessment, at this point, may be doing more harm than good.
Newsweek‘s Alexander Nazaryan, in a post on Sunday (June 11) entitled “Van Jones, Hillary Clinton, and the Disastrous Democratic Blame Game,” argues that the constant reassessment of 2016’s failures could be sabotaging the party’s chances of recapturing the U.S. House of Representatives in an early referendum on President Trump’s agenda.
With Republicans on the verge of passing a new healthcare bill and segueing into tax reform, failure to make significant gains in 2018 could be a death knell for the agenda Democrats had advanced during President Obama’s eight years in office, Nazaryan observes.
“If there are lessons to be learned, they [Democrats] plainly haven’t learned them yet. That Democrats are still pointing fingers and picking at scabs a half-year after the polls closed is a sign of just how lost the party is, torn between competing nodes seemingly unable to reconcile their differences.”
And Nazaryan is not the only one taking issue with Van Jones’ comments today. Twitter user @HillaryWarnedUs shared a graphic from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Sunday that demonstrated how Clinton’s opponent, Bernie Sanders, actually spent more on the things Jones accuses Clinton of squandering money on.
Van Jones at #PPLSummit saying Hillary campaign set “a billion dollars on fire” by hiring consultants & data people.
— Hillary Warned Us (@HillaryWarnedUs) June 11, 2017
That said, Van Jones did not make a direct comparison to Sanders, so the argument doesn’t appear to be one the CNN commentator was trying to make.
As for Hillary Clinton, she does have some ideas about why she lost the election. Among them: Russian meddling, James Comey, the media, fake news, misogyny, sexism, and xenophobia. The Daily Wire has a list of 31 more at this link.
But what do you think, readers? Is Van Jones right that Hillary Clinton and her campaign wasted their money, and is it helpful to Democrats at all to continually revisit 2016? Sound off in the comments section below.