I'm not going to go back and find the proof that the Carter team was GLAD that Reagan was the choice for them to run against rather than George W Bush in 1980, but it is out there ... you can likely find it as easy as I. I don't believe the system was quite as rigged then, so I don't think Carter and the media really purposely helped Reagan win the primaries.
I think many people are aware that Clinton (and the DNC, and the media) WANTED to run against Trump -- they saw it as "certain disaster" for the Republicans -- as did the RNC and big swaths of "Never Trump" Republicans.
According to an email from Marissa Astor, Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook’s assistant, to Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, the campaign knew Trump was going to run, and pushed his legitimacy as a candidate. WikiLeaks’ release shows that it was seen as in Clinton’s best interest to run against Trump in the general election. The memo, sent to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) also reveals the DNC and Clinton campaign were strategizing on behalf of their candidate at the very beginning of the primaries. “We think our goals mirror those of the DNC,” stated the memo, attached to the email under the title “muddying the waters.”
None of them learned their lesson from Reagan -- because frankly, they never DID like him. Most RNC people are "big government lite", the Democrats, media and academia would have been happy without the Reagan economic growth, the end of the USSR, lower gas prices, etc -- it is POWER they care about, not what happens to the electorate as a result of their machinations.
All the Clinton campaign had to do was push the mainstream media in the general direction of covering and attacking Trump as though he was the star of the Republican presidential primaries. As the presumed Democratic nominee, whomever she decided to dignify by responding to—whether the comments were directed at her or not—would be presumed to be the spokesperson, or nominee, of the Republican Party.This time, the "deplorable" pawns beat the queen.
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