March 11th, 2010
09:25 AM ET
5 years ago

Ex-Obama adviser: Democrats may get 'slaughtered' in election

Washington (CNN) – Steve Hildebrand, one of the top advisers who helped put President Obama in office, has a stark warning for his old friends at the White House and on Capitol Hill.






"I think that there is a real shot we [Democrats] are going to get slaughtered in elections this fall if we aren't leading the efforts to reform Washington," Hildebrand said. "We campaigned in '06 and '08, and if voters don't see that change, we haven't lived up to that promise."

Hildebrand, a highly regarded strategist in Democratic circles who helped deliver the crucial state of Iowa for Obama, is an outside consultant pushing issues such as campaign finance and lobbying reform.

He came to the White House on Wednesday for a quiet meeting with the president's senior adviser, David Axelrod, to express a fear that Republicans are seizing the high ground on cleaning up Washington, on issues such as the ethics probe of Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-New York.

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Filed under: 2012 • David Axelrod • President Obama
soundoff (121 Responses)
  1. Becky

    I am a lifelong Democrat who has NEVER missed voting in an election no matter the size and I want to second Steve's assessment...If Democrats DO NOT step up and pass Healthcare reform. I WILL NOT BE VOTING.

    March 11, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  2. Americans stop the bickering and slaughtering of your Government.

    The Republican or using this low point in the economy to boost their politics. This may work for a while but in thelong run the people of America will wakeup and see the light. The President and the Democrats have worked very hard and do their very best to bring the country back from the brink of depression. With no help from the Republican Party who brought on this horrible period for America. I know the hard work of the Dems and President Obama will not go in vain. There is already light at the end of the tunnel. If the Republican thinks the healthcare bill willl give them a win in 2012.. why are they so worried. I think they would want to help pass it so that they can win. They can fool the American who are hate Mr.l Obama because of his race, or the onces who are not so bright. But I know the right thinking America will see through their mountains of Lies. Wakeup American the World is watching you destroying the best President and Party you will ever have. Do the right thing support your President.

    March 11, 2010 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  3. Gordon Shumway

    Sure wish we could have a "Do-Over" vote on Obama right now!

    March 11, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  4. Adalbert

    If the democrates loose in the next elections, it will prove that the American people have a very short memory.
    Most of todays huge problems were created by the republicans and their corporate masters,

    March 11, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. Grundoon

    He's right! Lobby Reform NOW!! Campaign reform NOW!! Obama is absolutely correct about the SCOTUS decision giving corporations "person" status being a remarkebly flawed decision. Robert needs to shut his partisan pie hole.

    March 11, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. Alex

    "Slaughtered" might be the right word, but anyone who thinks the Republicans would be able to do any better (or, frankly, the Tea Party should it come to that) have blinders on. Just remember 2000-2008

    March 11, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  7. gt

    he is right on,, obama has none nothing to help the ecomony , he has done nothing to secure the boarders,, and has none nothing to get our troops home .. all we here is the health care debate ,,,tjhis is pathedic,,,

    March 11, 2010 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  8. Tim

    I've been a democrat for decades, but their performance – or lack thereof – now has me in limbo. I am hardly a republican, and I see absolutely no viable third party or candidate. They were handed the keys to the kingdom, and they spent their opportunity infighting and acting (or failing to) out of fear. Great performance, guys.

    March 11, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  9. Rumsfeld

    Mr. Hildebrand speaks truth.

    March 11, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  10. Time to waterboard the Republicans

    If Republicans get control of our government again there is going to be hell on earth. This will be the beginning of the Civil War II.

    March 11, 2010 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. jane

    I think HIldebrand is right. Although there is not much to said for the Republicans' ability to govern - at least, not on behalf of the people, they are clever and vicious campaigners who know how to sway voters and win elections.

    March 11, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  12. Reny

    Yeah, but when the repubs take over power they will get slaughtered when American voters realize they are no better and only for the rich.

    March 11, 2010 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  13. Jeremy

    What do you know there's actually an intelligent Democrat who sees reality!? Keeping writing off those pesky "teabaggers" libbys. See how that treats ya in November. Wait... yes 8 more months of it please!!!

    March 11, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  14. bob

    Well, the GOP had 8 years and they didn't do crap that was good for anyone, so it's not like we're in a big hurry to elect either party at this point.

    March 11, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  15. Chipster

    I believe Hildebrand is right. Republicans don't need to do a thing. Democratic voters are so disgusted with the failure of a majority to use their strength to undo at least some of the damage caused by the past administration and to provide the healthcare reform that is so desperately needed. Democrats worked hard and contributed as much as they could to defeat the Republican corporate machine. It appears to be a total waste of time, money, and effort.

    If Democratic leadership continues on this path, they might as well pack up their toys and go home. Republicans will be delighted because it will a long, long time before Democratic voters will bother again.

    Republicans will continue to serve corporate interests, using fear and prejudice to control the masses, urging them to vote against their best interest. But at least it won't be a surprise and we won't waste our time just to be disappointed.

    March 11, 2010 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  16. jm for sc

    Every one has advice to give expecially once the title "Ex" is added to their names.

    March 11, 2010 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  17. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "I think that there is a real shot we [Democrats] are going to get slaughtered in elections this fall if we aren't leading the efforts to reform Washington,"
    --------------------------------

    AD NAUSEUM!!

    I agree. Millions of us that voted for change agree. what we didn't anticipate was the extreme rhetoric, and constipation of the GOP. The dimwits who buy into the fake "Country First" platitude while their busy destroying the very reforms we voted for. And, quite frankly a statesman of a President that gave the GOP an ENTIRE YEAR to act decently before he realized that he was spitting into the wind with these bozos.

    Emmanuel, we don't want our intelligent and statesman President sullied (like another post said). Get in the gutter, do what needs to be done so that he can deliver on his campaign promises to the MAJORITY, those that voted him in. He can't do everything, nor should he be the one to take all the hits. Run the administration like you ran the campaign, and PUSH the promised changes through.

    March 11, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Ryan

    Doubtful if they do what they were elected to do: pass healthcare.

    Not to mention Republicans do nothing but paint us dooms day scenarios if we don't vote for them. Personally, I have better things to do then live in fear of their malfunctioning crystal balls (they've never ONCE been right!)

    March 11, 2010 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Minnesotan

    "Slaughtered?" If the Dems don't get in gear and get Health Care Reform with a Public Option passed (which a majority of Americans are for), then it's just going to be the same old, same old election choices: Wimpy Democrats vs. Incompetent Republicans.

    March 11, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  20. Doug,lib jersey

    The reality is that most American are good hearted people who feel remorse when they do someone wrong. Therefore it goes against who they are to vote Democrat, the party that stands for hate, lies, and narcissism.

    Even in the areas where people are morally challenged like Massachusetts, they elected a decent person for Senate, something they haven’t done for almost 40 years. It doesn’t look good for the dems but with Obama and his cronies, they are experts at ACORN type voter fraud.

    March 11, 2010 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  21. stevegee

    "Slaughtered" is an understatement. By not listening to the American people, Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress have created The Perfect Storm - fueled by mass anger and angst.

    This November, if you're a Democrat running for election, you are going to lose by a landslide no matter what district you're in.

    I guess we should thank Obama, Pelosi, Reid, and all the liberals for waking people up from their "Hope and Change" coma.

    March 11, 2010 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  22. matt

    It's about jobs. Focus on jobs! Obama, we want jobs first. Stop putting all energy on heath care right now. We can focus on that later.

    March 11, 2010 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  23. some guy in New Hampshire

    Democrats have screwed up but people won't need much reminding to remember how badly the Republicans screwed up when they held power. This time I'm voting for any candidate who's a member of the Adult Party.

    March 11, 2010 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  24. gary

    If election results in New Jersey, Virginia, and Massachusetts along with the growing grassroots teaparty movement don't make the dimocrats realize they're heading to the slaughterhouse, nothing will.

    March 11, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  25. Butch

    YES! I definitely believe that Dems will get slaughtered in the next election. Why?

    Obama hasn't kept ANY of his promises, and has really disappointed those of us who put our trust in him. He really let us down. As an Independent, I plan to oust as many Dems as I can. We need a CHANGE!.... His "change, change, change" on the campaign trail now looks more like "CHAINS, CHAINS, CHAINS" - especially with all the debt, and helter-skelter governing.

    He doesn't LISTEN! The majority of us are against his Health Care bill.... Headlines report Obama is now "Putting on Pressure" to ram it through. If PRESSURE is needed, isn't that a big clue that NOBODY WANTS IT! He's meeting resistance???

    The Government can't control what it already has....wars, the disgustingly high debts, etc., etc. HOW can they take on the Universal Health Care Bill? No-way! It'll be a nightmare for ALL of us.

    March 11, 2010 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
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