Ron Burkle, Bill Clinton’s billionaire former adviser and campaign fundraiser who has raised about $10 million for the Clintons in his lifetime, said in a recent interview that he does not believe Hillary Clinton has the ability to connect with the electorate.
Burkle, with whom the former president used to jet around in the California billionaire’s private 757, has not contributed to or fund-raised for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He will instead soon co-host a fundraiser for Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a Republican presidential candidate.
The Los Angeles Times reported:
Burkle says he might decide in the end to back Clinton–or he might not. … [He] says Hillary Clinton just isn’t re-creating the magic of her husband.
“People would expect Bill Clinton-style love and attention,” he said. “That is not going to happen with her.” Burkle lumps Hillary Clinton in with a group of well-meaning Democratic presidential nominees who faltered.
Like Al Gore and John F. Kerry–candidates Burkle robustly supported–she is brilliant but troublingly disconnected with the electorate, he says.
“As much as I like Gore, Kerry and [Hillary] Clinton, nobody can ever remember what they stand for,” he said. “They overcomplicate it. … They don’t win on vision–they make it too complicated. They don’t win on likability.” He says President Obama has been a bitter disappointment, failing to deliver on his promise to work with Republicans.
Burkle also said that Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has never asked him for contributions.
A majority of American voters view Hillary Clinton unfavorably, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released last month. Half of voters also do not believe that the Democratic presidential candidate cares about their needs and problems, and a majority do not think that she shares their values.
Burkle further stated that he still holds Bill Clinton in high regard despite the way in which their business and personal relationships broke down ahead of Hillary Clinton’s failed 2008 presidential bid.
He also refuted rumors of his frequent jet trips with Bill Clinton operating like a frat house, which led some to lend an unsavory descriptor to his private plane.
“No woman could get within 100 miles of [Clinton] while I was on watch,” Burkle told the Times.