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WP: Nobody Cares About New Clinton Books

From the DNC’s house organ, the Washington Post:

Unflattering Books Cause Hardly a Ripple

Politics as Usual As Sen. Clinton Traverses Iowa

By Dan Balz and Perry Bacon Jr.
Sunday, May 27, 2007; A04

As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) campaigned across Iowa this weekend, she was asked about the war in Iraq, illegal immigration and even whether her husband, former president Bill Clinton, might serve as secretary of state if she makes it to the White House.

But at no time during events in Algona, Mason City, Charles City or Emmetsburg was she asked for her reaction to a pair of soon-to-be-released books that portray her and her husband in an unflattering light and that recount in illuminating detail the stormy history of their days together in Arkansas and later in the White House.

Clinton advisers say the early reaction confirms their belief that Americans long ago digested those controversies, drew whatever conclusions they wanted and moved on

Even some Republicans agreed with Clinton’s team that the books will have minimal effect on Clinton’s campaign. For Clinton haters, one strategist said, the books will reinforce what they believe already, but they will change no minds

The story told in the new volumes — “A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” by Carl Bernstein; and “Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton,” by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr. — is, in its broadest outlines, familiar to most Americans.

The books recount the roller-coaster ride through the Clinton presidency and his tenure as governor of Arkansas, raising anew issues of marital strife and infidelity, Clinton’s strong and sometimes controlling personality, the scandals that ultimately led to impeachment, the failed effort to reform health care and much more…

They [sic] books may not radically change the public’s image of Hillary Clinton, but they could once again remind voters of episodes that may have faded from public memory while adding fresh details that could provide ammunition for her political adversaries…

Mark Penn, Clinton’s chief strategist, said yesterday that the topic of the Clintons’ marriage is “a closed case” for most Americans. “I think people are respecting the privacy of their relationship,” he said. “It’s a long time now from 1998. We’re eight years later. She’s been a spectacular senator. I think that to bring up something that is from almost a decade ago now — this is not where the public is.”

Steve Elmendorf, a Democratic strategist and lobbyist who supports Clinton’s candidacy, took a similar view about public interest in the senator’s past. “There will be efforts by her opponents and the news media to go back there, but I think the public doesn’t have an appetite for that. . . . The news media will have a hard time sustaining it without real news.”

Clinton advisers argued that the white heat of past controversies has cooled as she has moved from being first lady to a senator twice elected with handsome margins. Past controversies, Penn said, “were intense and were overcome in 2000 and now they’re not intense. I find people trying to swing for the fences to bring them back are missing the mark.”

What they hope is that Clinton will project a sense of warmth and humor that will challenge the image of her as cold and calculating. They also want voters to know more about her roots. In Iowa this weekend, she said as she often does that she was born “in a middle-class family in the middle of the country” and with added emphasis “in the middle of the century.”

Oh, yes, according to our watchdog media all of the Clintons’ history is now officially old news and ergo officially off-limits. Even the hitherto unreported news that Bill wanted a divorce from the smartest woman in the world.

But at no time during events in Algona, Mason City, Charles City or Emmetsburg was she asked for her reaction to a pair of soon-to-be-released books that portray her and her husband in an unflattering light and that recount in illuminating detail the stormy history of their days together in Arkansas and later in the White House.

QED. Never mind that these two books haven’t even come out yet.

The fact that nobody has dared to ask Mrs. Bill Clinton about these books during her tightly controlled Q&A sessions is definitive proof they will have no impact and that her past history is of no import to today’s voter.

Everyone is sick to death of these old stories. Nobody cares about the Clintons’ past. And why should they? If Hillary wants us to know something about herself, she will surely tell us.

But say, doesn’t Mr. Bernstein work for the Washington Post? Isn’t he one of their star reporters who has made a fortune endlessly plowing and re-plowing the imagined crimes of Watergate?

It’s telling to see that the Solons at the Washington Post are even willing disparage the work of one of their own in order to protect their real bosses.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, May 27th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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