Thousands of emails belonging to John Podesta have
been released by WikiLeaks in recent weeks.
PHOTO/Creative Commons

Last January, Ro Khanna’s congressional campaign was seeking an early knockout in its rematch this year with Rep. Mike Honda.

The devastating blow, his campaign chair Steve Spinner believed, would have arrived in the form of an endorsement of Khanna’s campaign by Hillary Clinton, according to an email belonging to Clinton confidante John Podesta and posted by WikiLeaks.

In an email sent Jan. 15, 2016, Spinner, a well-known Democratic Party insider and prolific fundraiser with strong ties to President Obama, asked Podesta to urge the soon-to-be Democratic Party presidential nominee to back Khanna.

Khanna’s campaign chair Steve Spinner
sought Podesta’s help in getting Clinton’s
endorsement, but he didn’t succeed.

“A major endorsement at this point would end the race. I am still hopeful President Clinton may consider it :-),” wrote Spinner. At the very least, Spinner suggested Khanna’s campaign might help the Clinton cause by coordinating voter outreach.

“I would like to see Ro help inspire these folks to support Hillary not just for this campaign but for her Presidency. He can be a tremendous asset to her and our party. He has grown as a candidate,” wrote Spinner. It does not appear Podesta responded to the email.

In the midst of Honda’s moribund fourth quarter fundraising numbers last year, Spinner said Honda’s campaign was “literally on life-support” and “Honestly, at this point I see very few paths for Honda to win.”

Clinton ultimately did not endorse a candidate in the 17th District race. More than a month after Spinner’s email to Podesta, President Obama’s inner circle indicated he would sit out endorsing Honda. Two years prior, Obama had backed Honda over Khanna.

A vast majority of the Podesta emails posted by WikiLeaks are general emails sent by Honda’s campaign for the purpose of soliciting contributions. Podesta was including in Honda’s campaign email blasts.

Podesta, however, responded to one email sent by the Honda campaign that makes reference to Khanna mounting a rematch in 2016, Podesta forwarded it to Spinner along with the message, “At it again.”