Donna Brazile will probably get fewer Christmas cards this year after publishing a tell-all memoir — she herself described it as "dripping with hot sauce" — about the 2016 presidential campaign.
The Kenner native and longtime Democratic political strategist ruffled feathers this month by releasing the book on an election day, and she's been accused of providing fresh fodder to Republicans demanding a criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton.
But Brazile has reveled in the controversy caused by her bestseller, traveling the country to deliver "tough love and tough lessons" to a party still coming to terms with President Donald Trump's victory over Clinton last year.
"Some of my wonderful friends will not be coming to my house this Thanksgiving," Brazile said Friday during a luncheon hosted by the Independent Women's Organization of New Orleans. "But when you witness something that is wrong, when you go through an experience that is perhaps unheard of and when you see something that needs to be told, then you have to share it."
Brazile, the former chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, reiterated her claim that the Clinton campaign controlled the purse strings of the DNC through a special fundraising agreement that kept the party afloat financially.
Brazile wrote in the book, "Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House," that the party had been "quite literally in Hillary's pocket" from the outset of the primary season, tipping the scales in her favor long before she secured the nomination.
"Imagine if you're the owner of a new house as chair of the party, and you can't get the keys to the house nor can you buy the groceries in the house," Brazile told the luncheon crowd. "They decided who would get in the door, meaning the staff I would hire, and which groceries I would buy and where I would spend the money. I was not able to determine how that money was being spent."
The book includes a number of other explosive revelations, including that Brazile considered moving to have then-Vice President Joe Biden take over as the presidential nominee, due in part to concerns over Clinton's health and the competence of her campaign.
Brazile, 57, was hired as interim chairwoman of the DNC after a Wikileaks release of hacked party emails prompted the hasty resignation of U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The emails showed that top party officials had mocked and criticized Sen. Bernie Sanders during his primary contests with Clinton, even though the committee is supposed to remain neutral.
A second collection of hacked emails — taken from John Podesta, Clinton's campaign manager — showed Brazile had provided the Clinton campaign a question from CNN ahead of a town-hall debate in March 2016, when Brazile was working as a contributor to the network.
That revelation prompted CNN to fire Brazile, saying it was "completely uncomfortable with what we have learned about her interactions with the Clinton campaign while she was a CNN contributor."
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While Brazile said Clinton's campaign "should have been managed and run better," she said she hopes her book also draws new attention to Russian interference in the presidential campaign. She called on special counsel Robert Mueller "to get to the bottom of everything."
Brazile addressed a number of other current events in her remarks, praising New Orleans for the imminent election of its first female mayor even as she urged Democratic women to take a more active role in politics.
"We have come so far in the last 80 years, and now, we're about to make history," she said. "But it's time we figure out how to hurry history ... and stop waiting for a man to leave the room or leave the table in order for us to take our seat."
She also weighed in on the national discussion about sexual harassment just one day after Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., was accused of kissing and groping a woman without her consent in 2006.
Brazile called for a "zero tolerance policy toward men who harass and cause women discomfort," adding that "it's wrong for Democrats and it's wrong for Republicans."