Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton had been Ted Kaczynski’s preferred pick for the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, but the incarcerated anarchist better known as the “Unabomber” ultimately backed then-Sen. Barack Obama’s bid for the White House, newly published letters reveal.
Kaczynski, 73, lost his right to vote after being convicted in 1998 of crimes related to the nationwide bombing campaign that earned him notoriety as the “Unabomber,” but he told a pen-pal in 2009 that he favored Mrs. Clinton over Mr. Obama in the Democratic presidential race before she lost the nomination.
“I at first favored Hillary Clinton for president, but after she was out of the picture, I favored Obama,” Kaczynski wrote in an April 2009 letter to Lydia Ecceles, a Boston-based artist who spearheaded a write-in campaign in 1996 focused around putting the Unabomber in the Oval Office.
“I mean, I don’t think any of our politicians are worth a damn so when I say I ‘favor’ a politician for an office, I just mean that I think he or she is the least of the available evils,” he added.
Mrs. Clinton ultimately lost the Democratic nomination that year to Mr. Obama, and she is currently pursuing the party’s nod for the presidential election in November.
Rare insight into the serial murderer’s stance on 20th century politics surfaced on Monday when Yahoo News began publishing excerpts from Kaczynski’s letters.
Yahoo News spent weeks reviewing a collection of correspondence kept at the library of the University of Michigan, where Kaczynski had earned a doctorate in mathematics after graduating from Harvard at the age of 20.
Alongside correspondence with his brother and discussions surrounding the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, letters published by Yahoo provide a sampling of Kaczynski’s mindset three months after Mr. Obama took office in 2009.
“I favored Clinton and later Obama mainly because I figured a Democratic president would be much more likely than a Republican to appoint judges and Supreme Court Justices who have some respect for constitutional rights. (From my own experiences with the judicial system I know how important that is!) But now I’m afraid Obama is going to be a big disappointment in that respect. The people he has appointed as attorney general and solicitor general both say they think the government should be able to hold alleged terrorists indefinitely without trial. Of course, the government can claim that anyone is a terrorist, and if there is no trial that claim is never tested. so in effect the government would be able to lock up anyone indefinitely,” Kaczynski wrote to Ms. Ecceles.
“Thus, on the basis of Obama’s choices for Attorney General and Solicitor General, I don’t think there is any reason to hope that he will appoint good judges,” he added, presumably referring to Eric Holder and Elena Kagan, respectively, early on during their tenures within the Obama administration.
Yahoo plans to publish more letters from the university’s collection in the coming days.