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Failed Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton and her former President husband are bitter over her loss to Barack Obama and angry at Democratic leaders they feel abandoned her, party sources tell Capitol Hill Blue.
“She’s petulant, defiant and bitter,” says one senior Democratic strategist, who asked not to be identified. “She feels the party owed her the Presidency and turned its back on her when she needed them.”
Clinton’s self-serving speech on Tuesday night where she opted not to concede defeat or endorse presumptive nominee Barack Obama angered Democratic leaders who say they’ve had enough of the Clintons.
Yet Clinton was still pondering whether or not to carry her fight to the floor of the Convention in Denver when House and Senate leaders called her on Wednesday and told her to get out of the race or face removal of any future role in the Democratic Party.
“Up until that point, Clinton still thought she could pull a hat trick and reverse the election results,” the strategist said. “It took Charlie Rangel to tell her it was over.”
Rangel forced Clinton’s hand. Sources say he told the New York Senator to get out of the race by the end of the week or her future with the party was over.
“The Congressman said if the sun rose on Monday morning and she was still in the race she could kiss any future role in Democratic leadership goodbye,” said a source in Rangel’s office.
Bill Clinton, sources say, is furious with the Democratic leadership and calls Rangel and others “traitors” to his wife and him. Clinton has used the same word to describe former members of his administration who endorsed Obama, especially New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson.
“Bill wanted her to keep fighting and take the battle to Denver,” says one aide close to the Clintons.
Even though Clinton agreed to drop out of the race in a public announcement on Saturday, Rangel and other house members didn’t trust her enough to wait. They switched their endorsements to Obama in a public announcement Thursday.
“The Democratic power structure has lost its fascination with the Clintons,” says one party consultant. “They see the Clintons now as opportunists who care more about themselves than either the party or the country and they’ve had enough.”
Hillary Clinton, however, is still expected to hedge her bets by suspending rather than ending her campaign. She will continue to try and raise money to try and pay off her debts and has said privately that she will not block anyone who wants to place her name in nomination from the floor of the convention, a move that could destroy any facade of party unity.
Party insiders worry that the Clintons have not thrown in the towel.
“The Clintons thrive on revenge,” says a former Clinton aide. “Payback will be a bitch.”