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Provided by Donna Brazile

Donna Brazile — who led the Democratic National Committee during Hillary Clinton's presidential run, and will be out Tuesday with a book, "Hacks," lambasting the campaign — sent me this GIF of herself at the 2016 convention when I asked her response to a counterattack by top alumni of the campaign.

  • Brazile titled it "Private Dancer."
  • The message: She's living her best life now, unabashed by book blowback.

Brazile was responding to an "Open Letter" — posted on Medium yesterday, and signed by more than 100 alumni of the campaign's Brooklyn headquarters — portraying her as a traitor: "[W]e are pretty tired of people who were not part of our campaign telling the world what it was like to be on the inside of our campaign and how we felt about it. We loved our candidate and each other."

  • The letter was signed by campaign chairman John Podesta, campaign manager Robby Mook, Huma Abedin, Nick Merrill, Jennifer Palmieri, Ron Klain, Leslie Dach, Mandy Grunwald, Jim Margolis and scores more.

The letter was provoked by a Washington Post excerpt saying 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."

  • "Brazile writes that she considered a dozen combinations to replace the nominees and settled on Biden and Sen. Cory Booker (N.J.)."
  • She recalls saying on a conference call with Brooklyn officials that she left like a slave: "I'm not Patsey the slave ... Y'all keep whipping me and whipping me and you never give me any money or any way to do my damn job."

The book includes chapters on the Russian hacking (with a timeline as an appendix). Memorable chapter titles include: "Gentlemen, Let's Put Our Dicks on the Table" ... "Bernie, I Found the Cancer but I Won't Kill the Patient" ... and "I Am Not Patsey the Slave."

Be smart: Top Democrats are furious at Brazile for reopening the wounds of 2016 when the party needs to be thinking about 2018 and 2020. Some even worry that the distraction may have endangered the party's candidate in Tuesday's governor's race in Virginia, Ralph Northam.

  • But Dems took the bait, making her book a bigger deal than it would have been if they had stayed silent.

P.S. Fox will love this ... Brazile's dedication includes a shout-out to Seth Rich, the DNC staffer who was fatally shot in D.C. in July 2016 — an unsolved case that has provoked right-wing conspiracy theories:

  • "In loving memory of my father, Lionel Brazile Sr.; my beloved sister, Sheila Brazile; my fearless uncles Nat, Floyd, and Douglas; Harlem's finest, my aunt Lucille; my friend and mentor, David Kaufmann; my DNC colleague and patriot, Seth Rich; and my beloved Pomeranian, Chip Joshua Marvin Brazile (Booty Wipes). I miss y'all."
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Go deeper

10 hours ago - World

Maximum pressure campaign escalates with Fakhrizadeh killing

Photo: Fars News Agency via AP

The assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Iran’s military nuclear program, is a new height in the maximum pressure campaign led by the Trump administration and the Netanyahu government against Iran.

Why it matters: It exceeds the capture of the Iranian nuclear archives by the Mossad, and the sabotage in the advanced centrifuge facility in Natanz.

Scoop: Biden weighs retired General Lloyd Austin for Pentagon chief

Lloyd Austin testifying before Congress in 2015. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Joe Biden is considering retired four-star General Lloyd Austin as his nominee for defense secretary, adding him to a shortlist that includes Jeh Johnson, Tammy Duckworth and Michele Flournoy, two sources with direct knowledge of the decision-making tell Axios.

Why it matters: A nominee for Pentagon chief was noticeably absent when the president-elect rolled out his national security team Tuesday. Flournoy had been widely seen as the likely pick, but Axios is told other factors — race, experience, Biden's comfort level — have come into play.

Updated 12 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: WHO: AstraZeneca vaccine must be evaluated on "more than a press release."
  2. Politics: Supreme Court backs religious groups on New York COVID restrictions.
  3. World: Thailand, Philippines sign deal with AstraZeneca for vaccine.
  4. Economy: Safety nets to disappear in December Black Friday shopping across the U.S., in photosAmazon hires 1,400 workers a day throughout pandemic.
  5. Education: National standardized tests delayed until 2022.

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