There are Clinton "insiders" and Clinton "allies." Clinton "loyalists" and Clinton "confidants." People "familiar with Clinton's thinking" or "in Clinton's orbit."
No doubt, Washington is filled with Democrats who have worked for, advised, donated money to, or rubbed elbows with Hillary or Bill Clinton over the duo's three decades in politics. But as the former secretary of State prepares a 2016 campaign, these "allies" are posing a problem for Clinton's real team.
Ever eager to voice opinions on everything from the timeline of Clinton's announcement to her 2016 message to how her "hipster black-rimmed glasses" fit with the optics of a Brooklyn-based operation, self-labeled advisers are going rogue. And by freelancing, they're taking the Clinton story out of Clinton's hands, even as she tries to build a team that's more leak-proof and less willing to air dirty laundry than in 2008.
Asked how the campaign could get a handle on all the anonymous outside chatter, Reines placed much of the blame on the media for being willing to grant anonymity to sources who don't know what they're talking about. Unless the unnamed "advisers" stop talking to reporters, or reporters stop quoting them, Reines added, there's no way to get the issue under control.
"What gets lost is, there are no consequences for [the source or the media] when they're wrong—there just aren't," he said. "If you were to go back and look at the last three, four, five, six months of coverage about Secretary Clinton, you're going to see certain reporters who cover her closely whose accuracy rate is less than 50-50."
There are decades' worth of former staffers to contend with: the Arkansas people, the Clinton White House advisers, New York Senate staffers, 2008 campaign aides, Clinton Foundation associates, and State Department aides, among others.