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Hillary Says Bill’s Impeachment Off-Limits

From, of all places, the Washington Post:

Clinton Fights to Keep Impeachment Taboo

After Spat, Campaigns Know to Expect Swift Reprisal for Any Hint of the Scandal

By Anne E. Kornblut
Sunday, February 25, 2007; Page A04

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton has a new commandment for the 2008 presidential field: Thou shalt not mention anything related to the impeachment of her husband.

With a swift response to attacks from a former supporter last week, advisers to the New York Democrat offered a glimpse of their strategy for handling one of the most awkward chapters of her biography. They declared her husband’s impeachment in 1998 — or, more accurately, the embarrassing personal behavior that led to it — taboo, putting her rivals on notice and all but daring other Democrats to mention the ordeal again.

“In the end, voters will decide what’s off-limits, but I can’t imagine that the public will reward the politics of personal destruction,” senior Clinton adviser Howard Wolfson said Friday, when asked whether the impeachment is fair game for Clinton’s opponents. Earlier in the week, Wolfson dismissed references to President Bill Clinton’s conduct as “under the belt.”

But the reality, of course, is that the impeachment was conducted very much in public…

Although she has spent the past seven years establishing her own identity as a public servant, Clinton has been embracing the more popular aspects of her husband’s presidency more widely as she mounts her own campaign, with frequent references to their time together in the White House and their joint legacy.

And as she has invoked the good Bill Clinton, she has risked invoking the bad, several Democratic strategists said.

“She’s using him in this campaign, so why can’t somebody else use him?” asked a veteran of Democratic presidential politics who is not currently aligned with a candidate but who, like numerous other Democrats, spoke on the condition of anonymity for fear of angering the Clintons. “She’s just made him fair game. He’s part of her strategy, so why can’t he be part of one of her opponents’?” …

And Clinton advisers express confidence that any explicit attempt to revive the scandal would instantly backfire, particularly among Democratic primary voters who were outraged by the Republican investigation into her husband when it first occurred. (One Clinton official said donations to her campaign spiked when the Geffen interview was published.)

The former first lady’s popularity ratings have never been higher than when her husband’s affair with a young intern burst into the open and cast her in the role of victim. After a successful Senate bid, she became a colleague, and even an ally, with some of the Republicans who had sought to unseat her husband — seemingly putting the whole thing to rest…

It’s good to be the Queen. You can issue such pronouncements. It will be interesting to see if she is obeyed.

But of course the media will never bring the subject up. Nor will the Republicans. They are far too polite.

They would rather lose than mention such sordid facts.

Earlier in the week, Wolfson dismissed references to President Bill Clinton’s conduct as “under the belt.”

Well, wasn’t much of Mr. Clinton’s conduct "under the belt"?

The former first lady’s popularity ratings have never been higher than when her husband’s affair with a young intern burst into the open and cast her in the role of victim.

Apparently that is Ms. Clinton’s only qualification. She makes a good dupe victim.

But that doesn’t quite make her Presidential timber.

(If you will pardon the expression.)

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, February 26th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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