WASHINGTON — In a heated phone call with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi late last month, Hillary Clinton supporter Harvey Weinstein threatened to cut off campaign money to congressional Democrats unless Pelosi embraced a new plan by the movie mogul to finance a revote of the Democratic presidential primaries in Florida and Michigan, according to three officials who were briefed on the contents of the conversation.Weinstein denies it but, well, I don't believe him for a second. These reports have been coming out without naming Clinton supporters for a while now, with Dean and Pelosi both getting threatened this way.
There's an interesting wrinkle about this, though: Weinstein is acting to protect himself just as much as he's acting to protect Hillary. The Iron Law of Institutions say a person would rather be more powerful within an institution than have the institution be more powerful without them. Obama has managed to build a coalition that not only doesn't include Weinstein, but is dramatically less reliant on large donors. Weinstein isn't just backing Clinton because of sincere political belief -- though I believe he is -- but you can also explain his behaviour as a form of self-defense: he and other large donors have been used to having one hand on the tiller of the Democratic Party for almost 20 years now, since the ascendancy of Bill Clinton.
The rise of Obama is shuffling the deck in the Democratic Party, and the knives are gonna keep coming out for a while yet.