Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2008 had a novel way to get under John McCain’s skin during her first run at the White House: “feminize” him.
The email was released Monday as part of the latest batch of John Podesta’s emails that WikiLeaks posted online and follows a string of other embarrassing revelations from inside Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 campaigns.
Longtime Clinton ally, and now CNN contributor, Paul Begala wrote in a February 3, 2008 email to Podesta and other top aides that the campaign should air a spot tying then-Republican candidate John McCain to President George W. Bush, who was deeply unpopular at the time. Clinton was locked in a heated — and ultimately losing — battle for the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, a fellow senator.
“‘Happy Together’ is, as you know, the spot I’ve fantasized about for two years. I love it. It feminizes McCain and ridicules him. Will generate buzz and perhaps piss the old sailor off. It certainly draws the link between McCain and Bush. I think it’s sticky and memorable,” Begala wrote.
Begala did not immediately return a CNN request for comment Monday. Begala, who is working this election as a top adviser to one of Clinton’s super PACs previously detailed McCain’s literal and figurative embrace of Bush in his book released just before the 2008 general election.
The Clinton campaign has not commented or verified the authenticity of the emails.
One of the most damning volleys was the release of transcripts from Clinton’s speeches to bankers which she tried to keep private through this election.